Director – Jafar Panahi – 2022 – Iran – Cert. 12a – 106m
An Iranian film director banned from leaving his country rents a house close to the border with Turkey, in which country he is remotely directing a film – available on the following rental streaming services from Monday, March 27th: Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies, YouTube (all £3.49), Apple TV (£4.49), BFI Player (£4.50), and Curzon (£4.99)
In a busy, metropolitian street somewhere in Iran, woman restaurateur Zara (Mina Kavani) is greeted by her partner Bakhtiar (Bakhtiar Panjei), who has secured a fake passport for her. She has only three days to use it before the passport, stolen from a tourist, is stopped. But she doesn’t want to travel outside the country without him: he is the only thing that makes her life bearable.
Then we realise we are watching a movie shoot not in Iran but in neighbouring Turkey. The director is Jafar Panahi (playing himself) and he is not allowed out of Iran, so he is renting a room in an Iranian village not far from the Turkish border and watching the shoot remotely via his computer. He’s been assured that the local internet reception is good, but it isn’t and keeps cutting out, making his job all but impossible, although his first assistant director, cast and crew are doing a good job of getting the shots in the can even when they don’t hear from him.… Read the rest