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Through simple means and filming, This is Not a Film presents a vital political statement and a snapshot of life in Iran as enemy of the state.
All Critics (98)
| Top Critics (36)
| Fresh (95)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (1)
Melancholy as it is, This Is Not A Film is no pity party. It evokes ennui and anxiety without ever being boring itself.
This film is unique in a dreadful way: what happens on screen would not be particularly interesting without the facts surrounding its making.
No matter the constrictions on its existence, This is Not a Film is, in fact, a great one.
Not a conventional film, certainly, but a powerful and important statement.
There is courage and cheekiness here. What there is not is a story, or much insight or even anger; anyone expecting an indictment of Iran will be sorely disappointed.
Truly and defiantly extraordinary in its own quiet way.
In a medium where we tend to lionize filmmakers for daring to make movies we enjoy, "This is Not a Film" is a true act of courage since it will not be enjoyed by all.
The resulting movie doesn't quite live up to its backstory.
Out of his terrible predicament and the confines of his apartment, Panahi has produced a remarkable film.
Gave the Cannes festival - and moviemaking itself - an incontestable reason for being.
Panahi, with a humble admission behind which is a baffled desperation, proves that everyone involved on a film set is making a film, that all are complicit and are creative, all directors in their own right.
To forever be remembered as the notorious "USB stick film," Jafar Panahi's This Is Not a Film is first and foremost a revolutionary act against a repressive regime.
Under house arrest, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi creates a powerful humanist manifesto against censorship and lack of freedom of speech in his country. Full review on filmotrope. com
The mere premise of "This is Not a Film" is extraordinary. Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years of a suspended jail sentence and banned from making any films for twenty years. In a pure form of protest Panahi had a cameraman film his life, while he was stuck in his home trying to fight this extreme form of censorship, and still having a pure nationalistic love for his country. Without that information watching the film seems a bit dull. Panahi eats breakfast, talks to his attorney, and watches some of his films, while feeding his iguana. In the midst of these mundane activities, Panahi almost loses his cameraman at a checkpoint, Iran's fires burn in the streets, and his family has left. It's tense throughout, scary even, and though he is not allowed to film anything, he takes up a camera, a clear violation of the terms of his suspended sentence and ban. Though nothing really happens in this film, everything happens in this film. To even get it to Cannes, Panahi put the film on a flash drive, baked in a cake, and sent it through customs. If there's any true form of protest to the film, it's that, which makes Panahi's actions that much more impressive and inspiring. This is a film to watch in order to understand the complexities of Iran's forms of censorships, and to understand the real life turmoil of Panahi.
This Is Not a Film, is a scream of help.
"This is Not a Film" follows a filmmaker (Jafar Panahi) through his house after he has been released from prison, not being able to write, direct, or produce a film while he is on house arrest. It is extremely interesting and enlightening to see a man with such loss, still being able to enjoy whatever is left of his life. Reflecting back on his past films while trying to explain a film idea that he will never get the chance to make, I was 100% devoted to the realism of this "film." It captivated me in many ways and showed everything that needed to be shown from a story like this. This is partial documentary and partial found-footage film, and it works brilliantly in both aspects. Would I watch it again? No, but I admire the hell out of it!
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