When Jafar Panahi was banned for “making propaganda against system” audiences were shocked and saddened about being denied his unique cinematic voice for 20 years. And then came the extraordinary, This is Not a Film, with Panahi in the starring role as a filmmaker under house arrest and desperate to direct. Closed Curtain followed, which was another interior film, brimming with political comment and rage. This latest film finds Panahi back in the starring role, out on the streets of Tehran and very much in the driver’s seat.
Tehran Taxi opens with shots of the bustling Iranian capital. The first of many passengers jump in, leading us on a tour of the city and its inhabitants. Panahi, takes on the role of cheerful, flat-capped taxi driver, confidant and director’s assistant to his niece Hannah, a pocket-rocket who’s increasingly losing patience with her Uncle because he keeps undermining her school film project.
An obvious homage to fellow Iranian Abbas Kiarostami’s masterpiece Ten, Panahi also uses the confines of a car to make bold political statements about personal freedom, censorship, filmmaking and the irrepressible nature of creativity.
Funny, sly and hugely entertaining, Tehran Taxi again confirms why even under the most restrictive conditions, Jafar Panahi retains his place as one of contemporary cinemas greatest directors.
“It's an act of defiance that's also a sublime piece of cinema, and it ranks among the director's finest work”- Los Angeles Times
27 Dec - 27 Feb
Winner of the Golden Bear for Best film at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, Offside) offers another clandestine cinematic jewel to international audiences. Banned from filmmaking since 2010, Panahi follows This is Not a Film and Closed Curtain with this playful and politically charged tale of a taxi driver (Panahi) as he goes about his daily rounds in downtown Tehran.