Taxi Tehran

Director: Jafar Panahi
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 3.0

Panahi, still 'technically' banned from making movies in Iran (goddamn it, Iran), works as a taxi driver in Tehran, picking up 'passengers' (including his filmmaker-in-training niece, a bootleg DVD peddler, an injured man and his wife and a former lawyer turned activist) and listening to their stories. While it's scripted and planned out in advance, Panahi wants to simulate a documentary-like setup and cover topics he finds personally relevant: it's a passive-aggressive slap at his country's draconian censorship laws and anti-progressive mindset and, while heavy-handed, an important movie for him to make. I'm not sure why Iranian directors are so fascinated with filming inside of cars - Kiarostami's done it before - but if it's the only way Panahi can work on his 'projects' and get them released internationally, so be it.