Archive for the ‘Jafar Panahi’ Category

Iranian Neo-Realism



Director: Jafar Panahi

Spoiler Alert Valid until date of Commercial Release

One of the delights of the 36th Durban International Film Festival DIFF was watching the short but powerful Iranian film, Taxi, directed by Jafar Panahi shot entirely on the streets of Tehran, which incidentally won the Golden Bear at the 2015 Bernlinale, otherwise known as the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.

Using the Italian Neo-Realist model of such directors as Vittorio di Sica (The Bicycle Thief), Panahi shows a slice of a forbidden and reclusive society through the lives of ordinary citizens in Tehran, Iran. Using a mixture of hand-held footage and cellphone footage director Jafar Panahi does a brilliantly job of showcasing the Iranian citizens as normal, sometimes comical and often repressed population trying to survive in a society which is very rigid and also economically restricted by Western sanctions.

From the hilarious conversations that Panahi has with one of his passengers in his taxi who pedals pirated DVDs including Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris to a couple of elderly woman carrying goldfish in a bowl whom then have to release into spring at noon.

Jafar Panahi using real characters to highlight the exciting and often ordinary daily lives of the Tehran citizens who also have to deal with economic and social issues like crime, informants and the threat of being imprisoned. Taxi is a fascinating slice of life or cinema verite into a world which Westerners seldom see or can even relate to, that of contemporary Tehran in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country which since 1980 has basically had sanctions imposed upon them by America and its allies.

Director Jafar Panahi shows Tehran as a vibrant city, whose citizens constantly live in a state of uncertainty about whether crime or the state police will restrict their already limited freedoms. Taxi only showed what potential Iranian cinema has to offer on the future now that there seems to be an international easing of sanctions against the country. Recommended viewing to all those who manage to see this extraordinary film.



2015 Berlin Film Festival

2015 Berlin International

Film Festival Winners

 65B Film Festival Poster 2015

The 65th annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from 5th to the 15th February, 2015

The Berlin International Film Festival known as the Berlinale takes places annually in February and is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

The Opening Night film was Nobody Wants the Night directed by Isobel Cioxet starring Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne, Rinko Kikuchi and Matt Salinger.

Nobody wants the Night

Winners of the five main prizes at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival were as follows: –


Golden Bear (Best Film): Taxi directed by Jafar Panahi


Silver Bear (Best Director): shared between – Radu Jude for Aferim!

Małgorzata Szumowska for Body

(No Poster Available for this film)

Best Actor: Tom Courtenay – 45 Years


Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Silver Bear for Best Script: Patricio Guzmán for The Pearl Button

Pearl Button



2000 Venice Film Festival

2000 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as the Biennale di Venezia

takes place annually in late August, early September and is the oldest Film Festival in the World

Winners of the 2000 Venice International Film Festival are as follows: –


Golden Lion (Best Film) – The Circle directed by Jafar Panahi

Silver Lion (Best Director) – Jafar Panahi for The Circle

Before Night Falls

 Best Actor – Javier Bardem – Before Night Falls


Best Actress – Rose Byrne – The Goddess of 1967

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