This Is Not a Film

In film nist

dir. Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi

This Is Not a Film

In film nist

dir. Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi

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Filmed clandestinely within Iranian director Jafar Panahi's apartment while he languished under house arrest for "committing propaganda against the Islamic Republic," this remarkable (non-)film is both a philosophical reflection on the making of art and a moving personal testament.
On December 20, 2010, internationally renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, The Circle, Crimson Gold, Offside) was convicted of "assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country's national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic." Sentenced to six years under house arrest and a twenty-year ban on filmmaking or giving any form of interview, Panahi responded with this purported non-film, made entirely within the confines of his Tehran apartment. Analyzing scenes from his previous films on DVD, blocking out scenes that he will not be allowed to film on the floor of his living room and spending downtime with his daughter's pet iguana, Panahi and his co-director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (who was himself arrested in 2011) offer a master class in filmmaking, a philosophical reflection on the making of art, and — in the film's gradual accruing of narrative layers and intracinematic references — a remarkable artwork as well. Fascinating, moving and masterful, This Is Not a Film is one of the best (and bravest) films of the last decade.