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Iran, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Jafar Panahi

In this shocking, politically courageous look at the other' Iran, the plight of women is wilfully, sometimes furiously forced into plain sight. Director Jafar Panahi's narrative delicately drifts among several women, each story melting into another, while a sense of their everyday oppression comes into sharp focus. Unsentimental and deeply felt, the film has a pulp vigour, a bristling moral outrage that marks it as a very new kind of Iranian cinema. Jafar Panahi's film, made it to New York and was well received, the director himself was not. Arrested at JFK Arport. he was forced to endure the indignity of being forcibly fingerprinted. photographed for mugshots and held, chained hand and foot, for 16 hours by NY police.

"From my plane window I saw the Statue of Liberty. I tried to draw the curtains and there were scars of the chain on my hand. I wanted to stand up and cry that I'm not a thief! I'm not a murderer! I'm not a drug dealer! I am just an Iranian filmmaker.'—Jafar Panahi.

Panahi's film went on to win five of the major prizes at the Venice Film Festival, including Best Film.

See also...


Jafar Panahi has once again utilised the services of youthful Mina Mohammed Khani, the utterly charming young thesp whose talents made The White Balloon the most popular feature of MIFF 1996. His ... More »


Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Award at Cannes this year, Jafar Panahi's (The Circle, MIFF 2001) new film is a intimate and absorbing drama. Based on true events, told to Panahi by Abbas ... More »


The Circle was a multiple award-winner at the Venice Film Festival in 2000. ... A tour de force, The Circle depicts the plight of several Iranian women oppressed solely for being born female in a ... More »

The Accordion

The Accordion tells of the human drive for material survival against a backdrop of religious intolerance. Two young street performers in Tehran, a boy and a girl, have their accordion confiscated ... More »


... ... Much to everyone's surprise, fundamentalist hard-line Iran has been pioving that humanist cinema is alive and thriving for at least a decade now To established names like Kiarostami ... More »


Winner of the Camera D'or at the Cannes Film Festival, Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon is the story of a young Iranian girl's trip to the market - a simple undertaking that becomes unexpectedly ... More »

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