This Is Not a Film

Director: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 0.0

Iranian filmmaker Panahi, in oodles of trouble with the government (the official charge is for "propaganda") and facing not only jail time but a 20-year ban from making movies, works with documentary filmmaker Mirtahmasb to make this "anti-film" of him: sitting in his apartment, making calls to his lawyer, planning his next film (by describing it), reviewing some of his past work and then recording an art-student collecting trash. Asking an artist to not make art is its own form of hell, so Panahi's working around the restrictions, and what this comes across as a somewhat humorous (holy crap that lizard!) but still earnest Plea For Help and Sanity in a country that is lacking just that; compare and contrast this with Klayman's documentary on Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to show how Ai works around his oppressive government. Godspeed to both, of course. (This is not a rating.)