This is Not a Film
Apr 13 - Apr 19, 2012
(Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi, 2010, Iran, Blu-ray, 75 min)
Smuggled out of Iran on a USB drive hidden inside a cake, This is Not a Film protests its nature for good reason. At the onset of this project, filmmaker Jafar Panahi was faced with a six-year jail sentence and a twenty-year ban from filmmaking. Calling on a friend and fellow filmmaker, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Panahi suggests that reading a script on camera would not count as "making a film." Using masking tape to delineate the set on his living room floor, Panahi attempts to “tell” his film. Eventually abandoning this project, the film shifts to capture Panahi’s house arrest, his calls to his lawyer and the slow deliberate steps of his pet iguana. The film experiments with the boundaries of the role of director, but also serves as a plea to the international film community. Knowing now that his sentence was upheld, and that Mirtahmasb has also been arrested, this documentary serves as a tragic warning against censorship.
"a small but deep movie that will haunt the regime and reminds the rest of us that while the Arab Spring seems to have come and gone, the Persian Spring has yet to arrive. But it will." —Brendan Kiley, The Stranger