MY TEHRAN FOR SALE (Granaz Moussavi, 2009)

There is considerable value in My Tehran for Sale’s tackling the topic and the milieu that it does. Iran today is so repressive that young Iranians must “go underground” to participate in raves and other forms of youthful expression; the state does not allow such activities. Progressive theater is likewise forbidden. The protagonist of writer-director […]

THIS IS NOT A FILM (Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, 2011)

In film nist is a bracing “attempt” at something. It is “not a film” because it must not be a film. Its principal maker, Jafar Panahi, has been arrested and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and banned from making films or even writing screenplays for 20 years. His crimes? Panahi protested the results of Iran’s […]

SANAM (Rafi Pitts, 2000)

An elliptical parable with something of the force and beauty of Ford and Fernández’s The Fugitive (1947), but with more political punch, Rafi Pitts’s Sanam, from Iran, proceeds at a solemn pace, through deceptively quiet, seemingly half-submerged emotional territory, to a haunting, incendiary finish. It won for Pitts best film prizes at Paris, Vesoul, Valencia, […]