Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Year Released: 1990
Kiarostami 'reenacts' the events that lead to the arrest of a man who claimed to be Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, his trial and 'redemption.' Might have been the powerful statement a good number of people think it is had Kiarostami's fingerprints not been all over it, 'guiding' the action and even allowing for the 'uplifting' conclusion in which Makhmalbaf intervenes on behalf of the man pretending to be him. He never explicitly states that this is a documentary, but he presents it that way, misleading the viewer: did things actually turn out that way? Were details added for effect? Did Makhmalbaf willingly absolve the man, or was he talked into it? Or did Kiarostami have his way, and 'create' his own ending? The critical stance is that the faux-documentary aspects add another layer to the film, but that's giving the director a lot of credit, acting like he revolutionized the technique when similar trickery has been employed by other filmmakers (for example, Robert Flaherty's fake docs, Welles' F for Fake, Godard's liberal use of 'truth' and the fictional work of Alain Resnais).