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In film nist (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 29 February 2012 (USA)
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It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Writer:

Jafar Panahi
9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jafar Panahi ... Himself
Igi Igi ... Himself, pet lizard
Mrs. Gheirat Mrs. Gheirat ... Herself (voice)
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb Mojtaba Mirtahmasb ... Himself
Rakhsan Rakhsan ... Herself (voice)
Sima Sima ... Herself, owner of Micky the dog (voice)
Micky Micky ... Himself, Sima's dog
Hasan Hasan ... Himself, part-time janitor
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Storyline

It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Iran

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

29 February 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Is Not a Film See more »

Filming Locations:

Tehran, Iran

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,638, 9 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$75,465, 2 December 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is inspired by René Magritte's painting The Treachery of Images. See more »

Connections

Features Dayereh (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's not a film; why am I reviewing it?
18 March 2013 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

In only seventy-six minutes, the "documentary" (if we can call it that) This is Not a Film manages to do much in the way of silent rebellion, documentation, personal-freedom, and expressionism in a beautifully unconventional sense. It focuses on director Jafar Panahi, who was criminally silenced by the Iranian government for making films deemed as "propaganda." During this particular time, and in current times, Panahi is prohibited from making films and affiliating himself with any types of films. This fact alone makes This is Not a Film bolder and one of the most ostentatious documentaries ever made; mainly because it's a project that never was supposed to even be a thought in Panahi's head.

We see Panahi, alone in his large high-rise apartment, go about his daily activities, which include eating breakfast, playing with his daughter's iguana named Igi, analyzing his older films in a very deep sense, acting out scenes from his movies, and repeatedly calling his attorney to get a ruling on his case. Because of his "propaganda" films, Panahi has the potential to face six years in prison and the possibility of never directing another film again. This is a scary thought for a man who is clearly not our of words to say.

The naturalism and simplicity is what immediately sold me on this film. It's not hard to tell that much of this picture was comprised on Panahi's spontaneous thoughts. Nothing is very consistent; not all of it is particularly compelling, but all of it is truly a sight to behold. This is Not a Film, in order to receive distribution, was put on a flash drive and smuggled out of Iran in a cake, making this a truly unique picture just in its story. How many films (or "films") can you say you've seen that really shouldn't have been made? While my biggest compliment to the "film" is its naturalism and biographical nature, it also is my most prominent complaint. Many things happen here, some interesting, some not, making this experience fluctuate in quality more-so than any other picture I've seen this year. A strong part of me absolutely lauds Panahi for his bravery and commitment to get his "film" released, yet because of its loose, lax nature, I question why he chose to make it more about his typical day instead of voicing an opinion on the cruelty of the Iranian government. Now, I realize how deviant and asking that sounds, seeing as it was incalculably daring for Panahi to make a film at all. But why not go for broke if you chose to go back on a law at all? Why not question or defend the "propaganda" accusation his films now bear? Why not take in account how you really feel about this whole thing? However, one surprisingly elegant thing he does in This is Not a Film is question what exactly a film is? Moreover, does this picture he's making now count as a film? Is it "illegal" that he's getting his pal Mojtaba Mirtahmasb to film much of it on a cell-phone camera? Is it because it's spontaneous, and follows a very non-linear style that it doesn't qualify as a film? Does a film need to be a certain length to be constituted that? Does anything need to happen? I was reminded of those short films I always find myself watching on Youtube from the late 1800's to the early 1900's of little skits or documentaries that briefly regard life/humor/culture of a country at that specific time. Were they films? They never seemed to follow a strict plot line.

This is Not a Film is something people from all countries (especially America) should watch in order to truly view how repressed, censored, and limited other countries can be. In America, grotesque films like The Human Centipede can be made, showcasing disgust and loathe at its height, 2016: Obama's America can be made, a film that deliberately regards almost everything the current US president says as lies and cites his motives as unworthy, and The Hangover Part II can be made, a raunchy comedic exercise capitalizing off lewdness and politically incorrect humor. The fact that This is Not a Film came to be may sit indifferently with people from America, but the fact that it exists is an astonishing landmark for Iranian freedom of speech. While I can't recommend this work in an overbearing nature, if you go to a video store and find it there, it is probably the one you should pick up for its importance and bold roots. But since it isn't a film, I technically should be reviewing it or saying any of this.

Starring: Jafar Panahi. Directed by: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.


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