Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This Is Not a Film

While awaiting word on his appeal to a multi-year jail sentence handed down by an Iranian court in response to his government bashing film, director Jafar Panahi surreptitiously films himself sitting around his apartment, talking to his attorney, watching movies, and playing with his pet iguana. Don't let the title fool you, they really weren't joking or trying to be ironic when they named this movie. This is Not a Film is presented as a courageous act of self-sacrifice (we are constantly reminded just how dangerous Panahi's actions are) but is really just an act of self-aggrandizing (not) filmmaking with barely enough material to justify a five minute news segment let alone a feature length documentary. You know a movie has absolutely nothing to offer when the written prologue and epilogue are its only items of interest.