In a secluded house by the sea with the curtains shut, a screenwriter hides from the world with only his dog as company. The tranquility is abruptly broken one night by the arrival of a ...
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When a young girl becomes lost in the hustle and bustle of Tehran, her journey turns into a dazzling exercise on the nature of film itself. In this ingenious and daringly original feature, ... See full summary »
Mina Mohammad Khani,
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.
Mehrollah is a 14-year-old boy who is forced to find a job to support his family after his father dies. He travels to the southern parts of Iran, looking for work. Upon his return to his hometown, he notices certain changes in his family.
Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war. Said falls in with a ... See full summary »
In a secluded house by the sea with the curtains shut, a screenwriter hides from the world with only his dog as company. The tranquility is abruptly broken one night by the arrival of a young woman fleeing from the authorities. Refusing to leave, she takes refuge in the house. But come dawn, another unexpected presence will change everything.Written by
The subject of suicide is discussed throughout the film and Panahi has been said to have suffered from depression since his legal troubles began. When asked about the subject at the Berlin Film festival, Partovi stated that Panahi "was not constantly thinking about suicide, no, because then he wouldn't have been able to make the film. But if I imagine myself unable to work and just sitting at home, then I am sure I would start to think about suicide." See more »
When the world's most famous banned-from-work film-maker manages to defy the authorities which imposed the ban, and for the second time in the row, one cannot help but admire so much courage and the film in question automatically becomes an event. Unlike his previous documentary/essay 'This is not a film', which was smuggled out of Iran on a USB stick inside a cake, 'Pardé' lists actor/screenwriter Kambozia Partovi as co-director, so technically, Panahi didn't violate the ban; Partovi was, not surprisingly, awarded the Silver Bear for best screenplay.
Naturally there was a lot of anticipation at the Berlinale regarding 'Pardé', and just as naturally quite a few critics were disappointed with the result, which they described as being too cryptic. However, if you know Panahi's works, it will come as no surprise to you that 'Pardé' contains many symbols and metaphors which require much thinking, elaboration, and may be interpreted in contradicting, yet equally relevant ways.
As for the story: an elderly man arrives at a seaside villa and immediately proceeds to cover the windows with black cloth, so that no light can be seen from outside. He then releases a cute little dog from his sports bag... why did he keep it there? I'd humbly ask future reviewers from abstaining to describe the story much further, for this is one of those films which can only be enjoyed when you do not know too much about them.
'Pardé', filmed within three days, is a marvel of psychological film making and easily the most personal film Panahi has ever done. The only film I remember in which a film-maker conveys so much of his interior to the spectator would be Polanski's 'Le Locataire'. Of course, Panahi's film, shot on a shoestring budget inside his own holiday house, cannot compare in terms of visual opulence, but given the modest means at his disposal, it manages to share a surprisingly vast scope of ideas and emotions - if you are familiar with his situation and previous work. If you are not, there's a good chance that you will find this film too opaque.
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