This Is Not a Film - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

This Is Not a Film Reviews

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March 23, 2015
As engrossing, suspenseful, and poignant as 75 minutes in a guy's apartment can possibly be.
½ February 6, 2016
this is not a GOOD film.
November 4, 2015
Mostly dull, but has a fascinating undercurrent of artistic rebellion. This guy just can't seem to help himself, his compulsion to film "something" even to a point of possible self incrimination against ridiculous censorship is in a way a silent scream of protest. It sort of reminds me of Mozart's plea in Amadeus to Joseph to let him just write his play, and for the emperor to take out the notes he doesn't like, he just needs to work.
August 17, 2015
A sad and enraging, but intriguing and interesting documentary that takes the audience through a day in the life of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who was put under house arrest by the Iranian government.
½ May 15, 2015
very sad state of affairs for this fillmmaker
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2012
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.
½ October 17, 2014
This might not be a film, but it is an indictment against oppression, a powerful argument for freedom of speech, and a testament to human ingenuity.
October 16, 2014
A revealing personal account of the shame of the fascistic Iranian state imposed on filmmaking and freedom of expression, as one man under house arrest documents his day-to-day life.
October 3, 2014
Excellent protest film, although certainly an acquired taste given its premise of watching our film maker as he waits to find out if he'll lose his profession and go to prison because of it. Interesting but it's not a film.
August 9, 2014
Thought-provoking and suitably infuriating if one is an artist.
½ July 31, 2014
In a bit of a terrible mixup. Flixter said I should watch "This Is Not A Film", so I got a hold of it. Apparently I watched the wrong one! LOL. The one I was supposed to watch came out a little later than this same-titled documentary. ANYWAYS, this doc is about an Iranian film maker who is under house arrest in Iran about his film topics. His punishmet, which he is waiting on appeals for, is no filmmaking for 30 years. One day, he has a camera, and he shoots a day in the life of himself. Personal footage. He does'nt know what the footage will be used for, if anything. Phone calls, looking out the window, caring for his pet lizard, talking about unrealized screenplays, etc. This was slow to begin with, but by the 2nd half, I began to get charmed by the whole thing. It certainly is unusual. Not for everyone, but has a lot of treasures to uncover.
April 14, 2013
A masterwork meta-film about young girl whose dreams of university caused her to be locked in her room, struggling to communicate through closed doors, acted out by a director whose passion for expression caused him to be locked under house arrest , struggling to communicate through the closed door of a repressive regime. While the low rating reviewers are quick to point out that the obvious themes of repression, censorship, expression, revolution, etc. could have been more effectively communicated in other mediums, I would argue that Panahi was striving for something different--something more esoteric--with this film. Does it not occur to those reviewers that this "documentary" is in-fact a meta-film and may not actually be a documentary at all? Had those other reviewers never considered that perhaps Panahi *is* Maryam (the girl from his screenplay), and that the recitation of his screenplay did not end when he stripped the tape off the rug? This was my first Panahi film, but he made an instant fan out of me.
½ April 14, 2014
"If we could tell a film, then why make a film?" - Jafer Panahi

this movie needs to be seen by everyone who considers themselves a film maker
February 20, 2014
The story of a passionate dreamer in a frenzied war zone. The ending of this movie was especially powerful.
February 26, 2014
Surprisingly watchable, though some of the early, deliberately mundane scenes aren't exactly scintillating. I absolutely loved the last act though, especially the adventure down the elevator into the street. It really feels like a Panahi film by that point. I suspect most of this was more scripted than it seems, and I think that's wonderful.
November 25, 2012
Its been nearly two years since I first saw this and my appreciation towards it has only improved. Its a movie I think any and all film makers need to watch.
½ March 2, 2012
This is Not a Film no es una película convencional en ningún sentido, y no se si la consideraría una si no fuera por el fuerte mensaje que trasmite. Jafar Panahi es un director iraní, que fue condenado a 20 años de prohibición para realizar películas y salir de su país. A raíz de esto, decide empezar a filmar un día en su vida donde no hay mayores ocurrencias. En una parte trata de dramatizar lo que hubiera sido escenas de su próxima película, que no podrá realizar, y vemos un momento de tristeza al darse cuenta de lo grave de su sentencia. Lo maravilloso de esta filmación es la rebeldía de sus acciones y que a pesar de sus circunstancias, no se rinde. Esta no es una película, pero conlleva una responsabilidad tremenda, pero a pesar de eso no logra trasmitir esa urgencia, llega a ser monótona y pierde todo su significado .
½ March 11, 2013
A late addition to the Cannes 2011 programme after being smuggled into France inside a cake, Iranian director Jafar Panahi's "This is Not a Film" (2011) is by no means your average political documentary. The 75-minute piece, shot partially on an iPhone, captures the day-to-day life of Panahi during a state-imposed house arrest in his Tehran apartment as he appeals a six year prison sentence and 20 year filmmaking ban for his opposition to the 2011 Iranian elections.

Here in the Western world, our access to information, democratic governments, and human rights are taken for granted. Panahi and Mirtahmasb are putting their lives on the line to tell the stories they feel they must tell, in the hope that, one day, their nation will be able to have the same sort of pro-democratic freedom as the rest of us. Gripping entertainment. Little by little "This Is Not a Film" leads to a final scene of overwhelming power. Anyone interested in cinema and/or Iran owes it to themselves to become familiar with this "not" film.
December 31, 2013
You know the feeling when all u love is "Cinema" and you get a 20 year ban plus imprisonment as well.
December 21, 2013
Not much really happens but the context of this 'not much' makes it strangely captivating and quietly inspiring.
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