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This is Not a Film


 

This is Not A Film: Smuggled out of Iran for its Cannes premiere, this clandestine self-portrait of a banned filmmaker plays as an inspired absurdist documentary. For months Jafar Panahi has been confined to his high-rise apartment with his pet iguana, awaiting the results of an appeal against a six-year jail term and a 20-year ban that prohibits him from writing a film, shooting a film, or leaving the country. Co-director  Mojtaba Mirtahmasb shoots Panahi on video, and sometimes just leaves him alone in his apartment with the camera running. Blocking off scenes with masking tape on a Persian carpet, Panahi acts out a movie he’s been forbidden to make, about a girl whose family has imprisoned her in her house to stop her from going to university. With his nose pressed up to the perimeter of his house arrest,  Panahi colours within the lines to create a priceless piece of tragi-comic protest.


 
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