Panahi is playing with the medium and the authorities, with two parallel love stories and the difficult shooting of a new film.
Context is important when we present Panahi's latest film after it won Jury’s Special Prize in the prestigious Main Competition at this year's festival in Venice. It was chosen because of its great artistic qualities, but some months after the selection he was sentenced to 6 years in prison by the Iranian regime.
We're in a small Iranian village on the border of Turkey, where the director is supervising the shooting of a new film. The location is a half hour drive across the border, and tells the story of an unlucky couple trying to escape to Europe. At the same time the director gets in trouble in the village as he might have taken a picture of an «illegal» young couple, as the woman is promised to someone else. Fear and superstition explodes, and being a director becomes very difficult. As in real life.
Jafar Panahi is one of the leading contemporary Iranian filmmakers, winning wide-ranging international recognition and numerous prizes from major festivals for his films The White Balloon (1995), The Circle (2000), Offside (2006), Taxi Tehran (2015) and 3 Women (2018). His films combine neorealist aesthetics with biting humor and social commentary, with notable focus on the situation of Iranian women. Despite being banned from filmmaking by Iranian authorities since 2010 and living under house arrest for periods of time, he has continued making and distributing films. His most recent film, No Bears, premiered at the film festival in Venice this year.
This film is part of
Original title خرس نیست (Khers Nist)
Director Jafar Panahi
Screenplay Jafar Panahi
Cinematography Amin Jafari
Producer Jafar Panahi
Cast Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Mina Kavani.
Production Company JP Production
Runtime 1h 47m
Age limit A