Closed Curtain


Closed Curtain

Critics Consensus

Ambitious and exquisitely crafted, Jafar Panahi's semi-nonfiction tale is a powerful, imaginative portrait of an artist's despair.



Reviews Counted: 42

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 478


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

CLOSED CURTAIN, Jafar Panahi's most recent non-film, made in secret, combines documentary and fictitious elements. A screenwriter goes into hiding with his dog after the regime declares dogs "impure" and bans them from walking in public. (This is an actual law.) The man shaves his head, methodically darkens all the windows in his three-story seaside villa (Panahi's beach house), and settles in to write in relative peace with his beloved pet. Unexpectedly, a young man and woman appear, seemingly in a state of fear and confusion, and he is importuned to take them in. A Pirandello-inspired drama unfurls as Panahi himself shows up (playing himself), acting out his most melancholy fantasies as both neighbors and strangers appear and disappear with eerie regularity -- much as you might expect in any society in which the absurd has become the norm. Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival. (c) Variance

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News & Interviews for Closed Curtain

Critic Reviews for Closed Curtain

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (21)

  • A powerful meditation on creativity.

    Sep 3, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Iranian director Jafar Panahi is under house arrest but, a testament to his ingenuity, Closed Curtain is the second in a trilogy of films shot clandestinely.

    Sep 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Studiedly oblique and opaque, a self-reflexive essay about movie-making and artistic expression in a repressive society.

    Sep 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Kafkaesque story itself proves more engaging while the narrative illusion is sustained than it does when Panahi's imposed, solipsistic self-regard shatters it.

    Aug 14, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It doesn't carry the impact of some of Panahi's more conventional films. It's not his best movie, but the fact that he's making a movie at all is remarkable.

    Jul 24, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Unfortunately, Closed Curtain also indicates there's only so much an artist can say about his own oppression before he winds up in a creative cul-de-sac.

    Jul 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Closed Curtain

"Closed Curtain" starts with a writer(Kambozia Partovi) arriving at a beach house. Hidden in his luggage is a dog which the regime in Iran is taking a very hard line against. That is depicted by some very graphic news footage, so the writer takes the batteries out of the television so the dog will not be traumatized any more. He also puts up curtains all around the house. That however does not stop siblings Reza(Hadi Saeedi) and Melika(Maryam Moghadam) from knocking on his door while on the run from the authorities. So, while Reza looks for a way out, he leaves behind his sister, while warning about her suicidal tendencies. "Closed Curtain" is proof positive that you can't keep a good man down or a good director from making movies. And it's especially impressive considering what Jafar Panahi has concocted here, a story told on two separate levels of reality, and without an effects shot either.(I mean yes there are sound effects used in order to emulate action just off camera but those don't really count.) That is done in the most playfully meta way possible to show the Iranian authorities and the world at large what kind of movies Panahi could make if only he were allowed. Except that is exactly the kind of movie he has made, with an emphasis on such Iranian taboos as dogs, suicide and unrelated men and women inhabiting the same space. And just remember that it is not showing off if you are this good.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


'Closed Curtain'. A screenplay so darn good I'm still smiling ear to ear. Personal, existential genius by Panahi!


Super Reviewer

Panahi's follow up to This is Not a Film is more artistic and frankly more rewarding. The turmoil between his head of following his art or following desperation are brought out very effectively. It also features one of the most lovely dogs ever to appear on screen.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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