Sunday Screening – This is Not a Film
Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi works within the constraints of house arrest as he waits for a court verdict that, when it comes, means he will spend six years in jail and be banned from writing or filming for the next 20 years.
Confined to his high-rise apartment in Tehran, the neorealist filmmaker exploits a loophole in the ban against working by being in front of the camera for most of the film’s 74-minutes, until his friend and co-director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb is revealed towards the end.
Later smuggled out of Iran for its first screening at Cannes this year, the film shows Panahi sipping tea, chewing sugarlumps and reading the film script he is forbidden to shoot about a girl locked in her home by her parents who wants to commit suicide.
This is Not a Film raises questions not only about politics and censorship but about authorship and also tests our idea of the form a film can take.
Directed by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi