This is Not a Film

Apr 13 - Apr 19, 2012

(Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi, 2010, Iran, Blu-ray, 75 min)

Seattle Premiere! 

Smuggled out of Iran on a USB drive hidden inside a cake, This is Not a Film protests its nature for good reason. At the onset of this project, filmmaker Jafar Panahi was faced with a six-year jail sentence and a twenty-year ban from filmmaking. Calling on a friend and fellow filmmaker, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Panahi suggests that reading a script on camera would not count as "making a film." Using masking tape to delineate the set on his living room floor, Panahi attempts to “tell” his film. Eventually abandoning this project, the film shifts to capture Panahi’s house arrest, his calls to his lawyer and the slow deliberate steps of his pet iguana. The film experiments with the boundaries of the role of director, but also serves as a plea to the international film community. Knowing now that his sentence was upheld, and that Mirtahmasb has also been arrested, this documentary serves as a tragic warning against censorship.

"Combining a slice of life in a distance land, great personalities, a workshop on filmmaking, and enough awesome iguana time to satisfy Herzog -- this is a lot of value for 75 minutes of your time. Even without the underlying political repression which one rarely gets to see in such a personal way onscreen. If you love Iranian film, film, or simply intellectual freedom This Is Not a Film is a worth a trip out to the theater this week." -Three Imaginary Girls
"This is pointedly not cinema, but it's breathtakingly cinematic...above all, it's a gripping entertainment.—Karina Longworth, Seattle Weekly
“Equally at home with fiction and non-fiction genres and a filmmaker consistently interested in blurring those demarcations, Panahi’s latest effort has a deceptively unstructured and spontaneous quality underpinned by a clear intellectual agenda.” —Rose Capp, The Vine

"a small but deep movie that will haunt the regime and reminds the rest of us that while the Arab Spring seems to have come and gone, the Persian Spring has yet to arrive.  But it will."  —Brendan Kiley, The Stranger
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