This Is Not a Film - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

This Is Not a Film Reviews

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½ January 4, 2014
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.
December 10, 2013
It was powerful, effectively conveyed the frustration of an artist with injustice!
½ December 7, 2013
A documentary which contains moments of real insight into the filmmaking process and also the difficulties of artistic expression in modern day Iran. It is a very unusual picture as the subject matter is quite transitory but still oddly engaging for its short duration.
½ December 6, 2013
Like the title states, this is not a film.

Almost entirely shot in the residence of former director Jafar Panahi, this film seems like a cry for help as he is banned from making movies for 20 years. This sentence was given by the Iranian government.

Nothing too great about this film, but it is interesting to dive into the strict film world of some places in the world, such as Iran.
November 13, 2013
An important film but only because we know it to be an important film (or not a film). It doesn't raise too many questions or even have a clear narrative but because we know the story behind the film, we feel compelled to watch, and end up waiting for something to happen. Spoiler alert - nothing does. The last 10 minutes, though, are truly beautiful moments and at the end of it, I keep going back to the line - "If you could explain a film, why would you make one?"
November 8, 2013
Self Expressive And Hard Hitting !! Needs your attention and patience and it will tell you something about Iran !! Good One...Should Be Watched !!
November 1, 2013
98% of the critics liked this - and I really wanted to too. It is so well-intentioned and certainly has a powerful message - it just didn't communicate it well enough for me. Five stars for smuggling the footage into France in a cake, but that's it, sadly......
October 5, 2013
The plight of Iranian filmmakers has been well documented. Iranian directors who have successfully made their mark worldwide include, among others, Abbas Kiarostami and Asghar Farhadi whose "A Separation" was one of 2011's best films.

This film was smuggled out of Iran in a flash drive hidden inside a birthday cake with a special screening held at the Cannes Film Festival. To a certain extent, it works as a protest film against censorship and a system that has landed its director, Jafar Panahi, six years in prison, a 20-year ban from filmmaking and labeled "enemy of the state".

While it may work as a protest film, at 75 minutes, it still drags and can barely be considered a documentary. It is not the provocative piece of art one would hope that makes a forceful, pointed statement and a serious indictment of the establishment to which it is specifically aimed at.
September 23, 2013
It's no 8 1/2, but This Is Not a Film is nonetheless a fresh look at the struggling, rebel artist in the modern world.
*3/4*
September 11, 2013
It's hard to watch, partly because a man who loves his job cannot legally perform it, and partly because you will begin to feel as though you are under the same house arrest as Panahi is, even though this is quite a short glimpse into life under Iranian dictatorship.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2013
This Is Not a Film, is a scream of help.
½ July 15, 2013
This in-depth documentary was a good attempt at breaking free of the Iranian governments laws and glorifying the art of film.

SUBJECT:Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is about to be sent to prison for six years and banned from filmmaking for 20 years. This mini-documentary shot partially on an iPhone and filmed by Mojtana Mirtahmasb documents the screenplay rejected by the Iranian government and the struggle Jafar has to go through. It's a really in-depth documentary done real well for being shot secretly.

PEOPLE:Jafar Panahi seems to be a real visionary director with a good idea and mind for filmmaking. I appreciate his idea for films and what he points out in his previous films. I also like how Mojtaba Mirtahmasb risked his life to shoot Jafar's struggles. It was a very brave act

OTHER CONTENT:This documentary was very much a picture of life with the Iranian government. I liked how he tried to rebel and get around their laws. I hope one day things are better for these peoples' lives. However, this documentary seemed to be a little bit less enlightening than I expected it to be. I also really wished he finished his screenplay.

OVERALL,an awesome documentary with a real in-depth subject matter, a visionary filmmaker and a brave soul, and a good picture of the Iranian government's oppression., but it wasn't as enlightening as I had hoped it to be.
½ July 15, 2013
This in-depth documentary was a good attempt at breaking free of the Iranian governments laws and glorifying the art of film.

SUBJECT:Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is about to be sent to prison for six years and banned from filmmaking for 20 years. This mini-documentary shot partially on an iPhone and filmed by Mojtana Mirtahmasb documents the screenplay rejected by the Iranian government and the struggle Jafar has to go through. It's a really in-depth documentary done real well for being shot secretly.

PEOPLE:Jafar Panahi seems to be a real visionary director with a good idea and mind for filmmaking. I appreciate his idea for films and what he points out in his previous films. I also like how Mojtaba Mirtahmasb risked his life to shoot Jafar's struggles. It was a very brave act

OTHER CONTENT:This documentary was very much a picture of life with the Iranian government. I liked how he tried to rebel and get around their laws. I hope one day things are better for these peoples' lives. However, this documentary seemed to be a little bit less enlightening than I expected it to be. I also really wished he finished his screenplay.

OVERALL,an awesome documentary with a real in-depth subject matter, a visionary filmmaker and a brave soul, and a good picture of the Iranian government's oppression., but it wasn't as enlightening as I had hoped it to be.
July 14, 2013
finally finished this in perhaps my 4th seating.
this docu had sounded interesting cos it was about an iranian director who was under house arrest and banned from film making for twenty years. obviously he flouted the ban with this documentary, which by the way,was smuggled out of iran to cannes - and has since garnered the director many awards and rave reviews. (one wonders if he's in even more trouble now)

the docu showed just how bored he was, letting viewers peek into a few hours of his life under house arrest on fireworks wednesday.
the most excruciatingly slow part for me was when he started reading/ acting out his treatment for a never-will-be-made movie (unless his appeal goes through that is) he wrote during the house arrest.
July 12, 2013
I am not going to waste my time watching this one.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2013
True, it isn't a film...and yet it is. Jafar Panahi, under house arrest, shoots scenes with a cameraman that are seemingly about the mundane life of being locked up in an apartment but turn into something that you can't quite look away from. From a USB key in a cake to you.
June 9, 2013
If it's not a film, why would I watch it? And why in the hell this has 99%?
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