February 29, 2012
Studio: Palisades Tartan Films
Directors: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
MPAA Rating: N/A
Copyright Holder: N/A
"This is Not a Film," shot on a cell phone and a modest DV camera and smuggled from Tehran to Paris...hidden in a cake... In March 2011... Panahi, under house arrest in his Tehran apartment while his sentence - six years in prison and a 20-year ban on making films - was being appealed, is irresistibly drawn to setting up his home video camera. For him, moviemaking is almost as essential as breathing, and so he decides to investigate the ontology of cinema in order to make a film that is not one... The result is a great (i.e. reflexive) movie portrait of an artist, creatively and without any self-pity, looking for a way to preserve his freedom simply to represent the world as he sees it... (The film) is rich with incident: forbidden fireworks explode outside; the family's giant pet iguana crawls compulsively across the floor and up and down the bookcases, much as Panahi must envision himself soon to be pacing in a prison cell.