Thursday, 16 February 2012

GFF 2012: This Is Not A Film

told you there'd be more... here's a review of Jafar Panahi's outstanding This is Not a Film, which i can't recommend highly enought - it's on tomorrow and saturday, tickets available here.

In 2009, Iranian director Jafar Panahi was arrested for supporting anti-Ahmadinejad protests; in 2010, he was arrested a second time, sentenced to six years imprisonment, and banned from making films for twenty years. This Is Not a Film documents a day of house arrest during an ultimately unsuccessful appeals process: Panahi eats breakfast, discusses the case with his lawyer, and reads extracts from the film that might have been. “Perhaps by reading and explaining, I might create an image for it…” he proposes, but finds the compromise troubling. “If we could tell a film," he despondently asks, “then why make a film?”

This Is Not a Film is a bold artistic statement, a guided career retrospective, a political act, and a mediation on the very nature of cinema – all at once, with neither self-pity or intellectual elitism to muddy the waters. While Panahi’s plight is deplorably sad, his uncowed defiance delivers an inventive and eloquent exposition of injustice.

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