This Is Not a Film

May 13, 2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Jafar Panahi, _This Is Not a Film_, 2011

The Cannes Film Festival announced on Monday that Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof will be screening two films that were smuggled outside the country in recent days. Both directors have appealed their sentences of six years in prison and a 20-year ban on filmmaking.

Jafar Panahi wrote to the Cannes Film Festival Festival on May 5th: “Our problems are also all of our assets. Understanding this promising paradox helped us not to lose hope, and to be able to go on since we believe wherever in the world that we live, we are going to face problems, big or small. But it is our duty not to be defeated and to find solutions … The reality of being alive and the dream of keeping cinema alive motivated us to go through the existing limitations in Iranian cinema.”

This Is Not a Film (In Film Nist) by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (2011, 75 min.) documents one day in Panahi’s long months of waiting for the verdict of his court appeal, offering an overview of the current situation of Iranian cinema. The film is a Special Screening in the Official Selection (Fri, May 20th).

Mohammad Rasoulof, _Good Bye_, 2011

Good Bye (Be Omid Didaar) by Mohammad Rasoulof (2011, 100 min.) is  the story of a young female lawyer in Tehran trying to get a visa to leave the country. It is screening in the Official Selection, Un Certain Regard, and will be shown on Saturday, May 14th.

“Mohammad Rasoulof’s film and the conditions under which it was made, and Jafar Panahi’s diary of his daily life as an artist who is not allowed to work, are films which, by their very existence, represent the filmmakers’ resistance against the sentence they have been handed down. Sending these films to Cannes, at the same time, the same year, when they face the same fate, is an act of courage and also an extraordinary artistic message,” declared Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux, codirectors of the Festival.

2 Comments

  1. Chris Cobb Says:

    Strength!

  2. S.P.Reid Says:

    amazing. That they would make the films for one, and two, have them smuggled out and played hoping the world sees them. we are all connected in our humanity, we are just born in different parts of the world. Even though a place may be our “home” and always will be, we may not be lucky to be happy with the situation. I really like it a lot what that guy said because it says a lot about him to say “it is our duty as “alive” to face problems that come up and not be defeated by them”. “the reality of being alive” I really wish that I could know what the real situation in every country is. I just got in an argument today with someone because they couldn’t believe that I admit I don’t know what is going on in the middle east. They say that what we are told by the media is what is going on. I say how do we really know what’s going on over there? I am not there.. I am pretty sure that us humans everywhere want the same thing, basically left to live our lives happily with a family and enjoy our time on the planet. I hear from older people that Iran used to be a great country, Same with Lebanon, etc. used to great. What is happening to the world? Many places “used to be great” now they suck is a huge understatement. The future is uncertain. I just hope that there filmakers get a stroke of luck somehow.

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