Accused of collusion against his country’s regime, the great Iranian director Jafar Panahi (a four-time NYFF veteran with films like Offside and Crimson Gold) was arrested in 2010. While under house arrest and after being sentenced to a twenty-year filmmaking ban, he collaborated with the documentarian Mojtaba Mirtahmasb on a remarkable day-in-the-life chronicle that, as with many great Iranian films, finds a rich middle ground between fiction and reality. Shot with a digital camera and an iPhone—and ultimately smuggled out of Iran in a flash drive hidden in a cake—the movie is almost entirely confined to the director’s apartment, where he discusses his films and an unrealized script, while the outside world imposes itself through phone calls, television news, a few comic interruptions, and the sound of New Year’s fireworks. Far more than the modest home movie it initially seems to be, This Is Not a Film is an act of courage and a statement of political and moral conviction: surprising, radical, and enormously moving.
This Is Not a Film is screening as part of the The Seventh Art Stand, a nationwide screening and discussion series presented by 50+ theaters, museums, and community centers in more than half the states, as an act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia. The Seventh Art Stand’s Mohammed Naeem will introduce the film and lead a post-screening discussion with Albert Cahn, Legal Director for CAIR-NY.
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