Manuscripts Don't Burn (2014)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 0/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0
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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 102
This highly charged political thriller draws on real events to tell a unfortunately common tale or repression in contemporary Iran. Kasra, an Iranian author who's been secretly writing his memoirs, is under strict monitoring by the country's security service. His stories are related to his time in jail as a political prisoner and to other events connected to his life as an intellectual in Iran. After preparing his writings to be published as a book, Kasra gets ready to leave the country - but
Jun 13, 2014 Limited
Kino Lorber Films
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Mohammad Rasoulof's slow-burning, clandestinely made fifth feature is a brave, challenging look at Iran's feared security apparatus.
Manuscripts Don't Burn is more rueful than action-packed, yet it simmers with righteous refusal. That's what gives the movie a power no Bourne flick will ever match.
Harrowing, defiant, and exemplifying through its very existence the moral courage its totalitarian villains stamp down ...
The message is so important - and Rasoulof is conveying it under such difficult conditions - that the film rather transcends normal considerations.
In a way, it makes as much sense to review this like any other movie as it does to review a mass demonstration or a strike. If you understand the film's political importance, you understand the need to see it and recommend it widely.
...[W]arts and all, this is a piece of work that needs to be disseminated and talked about.
Its chilly, muted colors, claustrophobic framings and understated performances by an excellent cast recall '70s American suspensers such as "The Conversation" and "Klute."
Rasoulof creates the sense that we're not only witnessing a bleak reality, but hovering inside of it, uncertain if the nightmare will ever end.
Rasoulof's dissident return to filmmaking is ultimately little more than a sporadically searing, unfocused and listless treatise on the pervasive censorship enforced by the autocratic Iranian government.
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