“an allegory, dark but not despairing, of the creative spirit under political pressure, and of the ways the imagination can be both a refuge and a place of confinement.”
Jafar Panahi’s second film after his imprisonment feels like both a continuation of This is Not a Film, and a dangerous expansion.
On the run from the authorities, a screenwriter barricades himself and his dog in a beach-side house. However, the outside world begins to creep in and their isolation is soon disrupted.
Closed Curtain went into clandestine production in 2012, roughly two years after Panahi's arrest and imprisonment. At the time, Iranian cinema and Panahi’s peers were receiving major international accolades and opportunities, including Asghar Farhadi's Oscar for A Separation and the international productions of Abbas Kiarostami outside of Iran. Meanwhile, Panahi remained under house arrest. He successfully avoided further jail time, but lost the appeal to lift the ban on his filmmaking.
The film premiered at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear for Best Script. Closed Curtain stars Kambozia Partovi (who also co-directed the film) and Maryam Moqadam. Both actors had their passports confiscated and were unable to travel outside of Iran to promote the film.
Screening exclusive to ACMI