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Showing and telling stories: the essence of cinema, in my opinion. This movie tells you that if you have a great idea and a camera, you can make a great movie, even if there is an entire system against you.
At the beginning, you thing two contradictory things: 1) the movie is not spontaneous, but prepared, 2) the movie just depends on casual stories and tells nothing specific or important. But at the end, truth or not, it makes a reflection on iranian society.
Panahi is another master of Iranian style in using a sequence of everyday objects to convey profound meanings, a skill likely developed in survival of heavy censorship. The ending is a hybrid of magical realism and Blair Witch-style surprise.
Though it probably shouldn't be taken seriously as a totally real documentary, Jafar Panahi's latest undercover film is poignant, emotionally stirring, and fun to watch.
Jafar Panahi is serving a twenty-year ban from making films in Iran due to his willingness to make films that offend the government. Since the ban was imposed he has creatively continued to make films but without a crew and previously in the safety of his own home (e.g., This is Not a Film, 2011). This time, he has installed cameras in his car and taken on the role of taxi driver to film on the streets of Tehran. Taking his cues from Abbas Kiarostami (who passed away after a botched operation in 2016) who often filmed actors (or non-actors) in cars (e.g., Taste of Cherry, 1997; Ten, 2002), Panahi has filmed himself carting people around and their conversations and experiences make up the content of the film. It is sometimes difficult to know whether the dialogue is scripted or not, and, if scripted, what its inclusion signifies. But it is clear that this is an act of resistance, because the episodes clearly reveal the political intolerance and human rights violations that are present in Iranian society. These problems are made explicit when Panahi's young "niece" (the actors remain anonymous to protect them), under the pretense of a class assignment on film-making, lists all of the content that is forbidden from movies, including any discussion of economic or political problems as well as the inclusion characters with Persian names wearing ties (!!!). Naturally, such a character soon appears! At the end, Panahi films a discussion with a presumed well-known actress or lawyer (hard to say) about the actual violations that the current film represents. An earlier discussion of the death penalty and its imposition for minor crimes now fits into place; let's hope that Panahi's high profile (and the wide circulation of this film) protects him from any further clampdown. We should all be so brave in the case that resistance is necessary even in presumed "free" nations.
Documental en tiempo real en tono intimista- minimalista en el que un taxi sirve de confesionario y foro de critica social. Un ave rara que no hay que perder de vista.
A very interesting movie but sadly, not for me. It is a pretty interesting documentary of a city from the eyes of probably the country's most influential directors so if you are interested in knowing more about the culture, the city and its people, be sure to watch this. Side note: it got me to watch One night in Anatolia which was cool.
It is quite magical when a form of cultural representation not only shatters preconceptions of a particular place and people but also reaches out with a sincere and warmhearted greeting. Panahi's Taxi does this and also proves to be an outstanding accomplishment for cinema, defying all kinds of restrictions in order to fulfill its goal of being seen.
A little heavy handed at times - but smart and personable.
As director Jafar Panahi is banned from making movies by the Iranian government, he poses as a taxi driver and makes a movie about social challenges in Iran. We are invited to his fares as we meet people heading places. It got a very documentary-like style, but it's clear that actors are rented in here - probably with quite a loose script.
Interesting chats and happenings and a very interesting way of movie making.
I really like the camera media changes during the film. It's does not feel too long and this sticks with me as a brave film with a fresh perspective.
7.5 out of 10 roses.