Previously at the ICA - Films
30 Mar 2012 – 17 Apr 2012
Jafar Panahi (The Circle, The White Balloon) is one of the world's most critically acclaimed filmmakers. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the Camera D'Or at Cannes, the Silver Bear in Berlin (twice!), The Golden Leopard in Locarno - the list is endless. Pertinently, he's currently serving six years in prison in his home country of Iran, and a 20 year ban on filmmaking, traveling abroad or even giving interviews for making "propaganda against the regime". Prior to his sentencing, but under house arrest, desperate that this verdict may mean his artistic death, Panahi starts documenting his life within the walls of his apartment block. This is that film. He begins filming himself, then calls his friend and collaborator, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (soon to be arrested himself), who arrives at the apartment and takes over the camera. Banned from film making and determined to express himself somehow, Panahi reads some of the scenario from the movie he was planning to make before his arrest. Taking the camera outside his apartment, he talks with a young caretaker in his block, asking questions about his life and plans for the future. The poignancy of these questions, given Panahi's own uncertain future, is heartbreaking.
A moving, hugely significant film by and about one of our major filmmakers who currently has no voice in the world thanks to his unjust imprisonment. The film was smuggled out of Iran in a memory stick hidden in a birthday cake and screened at the Cannes Film Festival to highlight the plight of Panahi and his fellow Iranian filmmakers and artists.
Dir: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, 2010, Iran, Farsi with English subtitles, 75mins.