Cannes 2021 :: ‘Titane’ Wins Palme d’Or
Julia Ducournau becomes only the second female director to claim Cannes' top prize. The grand jury prize was awarded to A hero, of Iranian Asghar Farhadi, and for Hyutti No. 6..
‘Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee’
Filmmaker Nanette Burstein tries to unravel the strange behavior of John McAfee, who left his life as a software mogul to become a recluse in the jungles of Belize..
Berlinale 2021 :: Souad :: Movie Review
'Souad' is remarkable not just for its razor- sharp, nonjudgmental insight, but also for the nuanced performances making each character rounded yet ultimately unknowable..
Berlinale 2021
Summer Special highlights

Cinema is back in Berlin! The Berlinale Summer Special opened on June 9 with a red carpet gala. Here are a few snapshots of the event. During the Summer Special from June 9-20..
CANNES 2021 :: ‘Year of the Everlasting Storm’
A sweeping and melancholic first trailer has arrived for Neon’s Secret Cannes Project, “The Year of the Everlasting Storm.” With films by Jafar Panahi, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, ..
A New Book Reveals
Frank Sinatra believed Marilyn Monroe was murdered

"I tried to paint the portrait of a man very few people got to know as well as I did, I think he knew someday I'd share the stories he..
BERLINALE 2021 :: Awards :: 13 June :: 2 More Winners
The Berlinale adds two more winners to its list with Alice Diop’s We and Dasha Nekrasova’s The Scary of Sixty-First. The films scored the Awards for the Best Berlinale Documentary..
CANNES 2021
Netflix Declined Cannes Invite

Netflix Declined Invites to Premiere the Palme d'Or winner Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’ and Andrew Dominik’s ‘Blonde’. Cannes general delegate Thierry Frémaux revealed..
CANNES 2021 :: 6 - 17 July
The Cannes behemoth is back

16 filmmakers who have already taken part in the competition are battling it out with eight new entrants; 14 Europeans will be vying for Cannes’ coveted top prize..
14th Annual Iranian Film Festival :: San Francisco
Call For Film Submissions Open For the 14th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran. To submit your film, please..
‘The Long Excuse’ :: Review
Writer-director Miwa Nishikawa’s somber reflection on the strains of marriage and parenthood is punctuated with beautiful existential undertones. Centered on liars and swindlers — self-deception is the theme of..
Putin: A Russian Spy Story :: TV Series (2020)
An exploration of how Vladimir Putin deployed his knowledge of spy-craft as a politician, and how modern Russia evolved through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger..
‘Driveways’ :: Review
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The modest story of a mother, her son and an elderly neighbor feels like a salve right now—and gives Brian Dennehy a deserving swan song. Understated yet powerful..
Spreading Propaganda Through Films and TV
Intelligence agencies in Iran are increasingly using state-funded entertainment productions to spread state propaganda and improve their image among the public..
'Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade' :: Clever and Chilling Anime
In an authoritarian Japan, Fuse, part of an anti-terrorist police brigade, faces an internal enquiry. On a recent operation he hesitated to kill a female terrorist because of her youth..
Golden Globe Winners 2021 ::
'Nomadland' director Chloé Zhao won Best Director, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to take home that award, while the film itself won Best Motion – Picture Drama; Soul, Borat, The Queen's Gambit..
'How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal' :: Eugène Green
For years Portugal was the only country in Europe where there was no Coca-Cola. The director discusses his new "mini-film," devoted to the great Portuguese poet, advertising..
Copenhagen 2021 :: Vinterberg's 'Druk' snatches Five Robert Statuettes
In the category, Vinterberg was, among other things, up against himself, as he was also nominated for his role in the film “Riders..
Zindagi Tamasha :: Circus of Life :: 2020
‘It went from love to wanting to kill me.’ Sarmad Khoosat was the darling of Pakistan’s entertainment industry until his new film fell foul of fundamentalists – who called for him..
'No Choice' :: Tokyo 2020
It’s a slippery path up the mountain of human rights. Three good women clash when a determined lawyer takes on the case of a homeless girl against an idealistic doctor in Reza Dormishian’s legal thriller..
'Wife of a Spy' :: An intriguing marital battle
Winner of the best director award at the Venice Film Festival. An absorbing, exotic, well-paced thriller with moments of disconcerting realism and horror. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s..
"Actress's Ears" Put Film Screening in Jeopardy
Panthea Bahram, a famous Iranian actress, whose presence last year with shaved head at the press conference to a movie made news; reacted to the removal of "Killer and..
'Hope Gap' :: A Bracingly Original Drama
There's an unusual calmness to this drama that feels bracingly original. William Nicholson's Hope Gap benefits from a starry cast in the stagey story. Nighy and Bening are as good..
'Killer and Wild' removed from the Fajr Film Festival
A movie with Iranian actress Leila Hatami in the leading role was excluded from a major Film Festival event in Iran due to her 'shaved head and exposed ears' ..
'I WILL CROSS TOMORROW'
Maria is a Greek policewoman, struggling with her money problems, teenage daughter, old mother.. Yussof is a Syrian rebel, on his way out of a war-ridden Syria. Both have killed unwantedly, both feel guilty, but together..
51st Edition Of IFFI 2021
The 51st edition of India’s International Film Festival (IFFI) kick started on 16th January at Goa, which opened with the Indian premier of the movie ‘Another Round’ by Thomas Vinterberg..
'Alone' :: Movie Review
"Alone" is admirably straightforward, exploring tried-and-true archetypes with suspenseful execution. Director John Hyams demonstrates a minimalistic knack for showing and not telling,..
'The Female Voice of Iran' :: Feature documentary 2020
Independent documentary about female singers inside Iran and their deep wish: "I want my voice to be heard." Captivating...beautiful music and stunning..
'The Father' :: Movie Review
Sundance: Florian Zeller's film makes an inexplicably cruel element of the human condition recognizable in a way that only good art can. Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman Inside the Brutal Matrix of Dementia..
‘Money Heist’ :: As smart as it is relentless
Like a criminal who has trapped themselves within a situation in which there’s no simple escape, Money Heist is a riveting, inescapable show with a narrative jackpot at the end of it..
'Vivos' :: Ai Weiwei's Mournful Ode to the Disappeared
Vivos is a documentary feature film by artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei, portraying the human impact of Mexico’s ongoing crisis of enforced disappearances..
Family Romance, LLC (2020)
Love is a business at Family Romance, a company that rents human stand-ins for any occasion. Founder Yuichi Ishii helps make his clients’ dreams come true. But when the mother of 12-year-old Mahiro hires Ishii to..
'Let Him Go' (2020)
Kevin Costner excels in a gripping neo-western thriller. Let Him Go is a moving and gripping Western with particularly strong performances from Diane Lane as a grieving yet resolute mother and from Lesley Manville as her..
In Memoriam of Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk
In the small pool of filmmakers known for being provocative, Kim Ki-duk was the oddest of ducks. South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has died in Latvia aged 59 after contracting..
'The Life Ahead' (2020)
Loren has made it again! She's an absolute Goddess. The characters are colorful and empathetic, and even if the plot is simple, the cast keeps it up. Specially, Sophia Loren.. Sempre adorabile!
'What We Did on Our Holiday'
An exceedingly funny comedy that definitely borders on Black Comedy but still tinkers in the realm of being light hearted. It has a very kind of Outnumbered feel to it in which the kids play their innocence, yet brilliantly..
'Radiograph of a Family'
Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani triumphed at IDFA 2020 with her fourth film Radiograph of a Family, winning the main award in the IDFA Competition for Feature Length Documentary and the IDFA Competition for Creative Use of..
'Falling' :: Viggo Mortensen's Directorial Debut
A beautifully controlled drama about age, memory and forgiveness. Often abrasive, occasionally sweet, and sometimes grasping for transcendence, "Falling" doesn't feel like..
'Careless Crime' (2020) :: Movie Review
Iranian director Shahram Mokri, known for his single-shot films and his decided penchant for time-loops, achieves formalistic excellence in his latest effort..
Secrets of the Surface (2020)
Filmed in Canada, Iran, and the United States, 'Secrets of the Surface' examines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field..
'Another Round' :: Review
Thomas Vinterberg reteams with "The Hunt" star for a darkly comic referendum on booze. Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in..
'There Is No Evil' :: Premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Fest
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's 'There Is No Evil' has triumphed at the 70th Berlinale, picking up the Golden Bear. The director himself was not present..
'Tesla' :: Sundance Review
A fascinating, if unconventional, look at the singular life of Nikola Tesla as played by Ethan Hawke. Appropriately bold and ambitious, Tesla takes a number of risks that don't always pay off -- but Ethan Hawke's performance..
Documenting the Struggle for Women's Rights in Iran
One of the women featured in this short documentary, Nasrin Sotoudeh is now serving a decades-long sentence in Evin Prison in Iran. Released alongside Jeff Kaufman's..
'Bacurau' :: A John Carpenter-Inspired Revenge Fantasy
A settlement in rural Brazil, a doctor (played by a gaunt and fierce Sônia Braga), a school, a (disused) church, even a brothel, but no sheriff. Something strange is happening..
TALE OF THE SEA :: Film Review
One of Iran's major filmmakers is at the top of his game with this Ingmar Bergman-esque meditation on old age. One man's madness as a metaphor for the surreal lives of a whole nation..
'Ordinary Love' :: There is nothing Ordinary about Love
"Ordinary Love" is not a movie solely about cancer. It is a raw, on-screen adaptation of what hundreds of couples experience when their limits are tested - physically, mentally..
13th Annual Iranian Film Festival :: San Francisco
Call For Entries Open for the 13th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran..
'1982' :: Premiered at TIFF :: 2019
During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon at a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, 11-year-old Wissam tries to tell a classmate about his crush on her..
'The Perfect Candidate' :: Haifaa al-Mansour :: 2019
For Haifaa al-Mansour, it's an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by courageous women like her. A message movie admirable for its subtlety as well as its execution..
'The Truth :: La Vérité' :: 2019
At 76, Catherine Deneuve can still blow all-comers off a cinema screen, and she does exactly that in Hirokazu Kore-eda's Truth, which playfully explores the vexed relationship between..
'Paddleton' :: An Awkward Embrace With Fragile Masculinity
A drily ambling exploration of masculinity and overcoming self-imposed barriers. An unlikely bromance between two misfit neighbors..
'The Lunchbox (DABBA)' :: Cannes Review
Cinema loses giant Irrfan Khan to cancer and we take a look at the tenderness of his performance in The Lunchbox. It's carried off with charm and wit, and a pair of very..
'This Beautiful Fantastic' :: An Oddball Modern-Day Fairy Tale
A charming, beautifully photographed modern fairy tale about love and gardening, This Beautiful Fantastic is worth seeing in spite of its dumb deterrent of a title..
'Bombshell' :: #MeToo docudrama
Bombshell benefits from a terrific cast and a worthy subject, but its impact is muffled by a frustrating inability to go deeper than the sensationalistic surface..
'Just Mercy' :: Law Drama Inspired by True Events
Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy..
'Imitation of Life' :: A Melodramatic Torrent of Rage
Douglas Sirk unleashed a melodramatic torrent of rage at the corrupt core of American life - the unholy trinity of racism, commercialism, and puritanism..
'Adopt a Highway' :: Movie review
Logan Marshall-Green's directorial debut stars Ethan Hawke as a sweet ex-con who finds new purpose when he discovers a baby in a dumpster..
'Away':: A beautifully crafted minimalist adventure
Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis has written, animated, designed, edited, directed, and composed the music for his feature debut himself, with impressive results..
'Live Twice, Love Once' :: Movie review
An award-winner in Spain, 'Live Twice, Love Once' is a mature film that deals effectively with both family separation and reconciliation in sorrowful times..
A Writer Named Tove :: CPH:DOX 2020
A mosaic portrait of the Danish writer and poet Tove Ditlevsen. The self-confident and outspoken author, and the fragile woman behind the books..
'Arab Blues' :: An Entertaining Tunisian Culture-Clash Comedy
Mildly amusing froth, kept all the more buoyant by Farahani's deadpan reactions and immensely watchable face and fine comic..
'Donbass' :: Brutally powerful and brilliantly filmed
In its own absurdist way, it does shed some light on just what the war did to the lives - and sensibilities - of civilians caught up in the nightmare. It illustrates man's inhumanity..
The Flu That Killed 50 Million :: More Deadly Than War
In 1918, as the Armistice bells rang out across the world to celebrate the end of World War I, a silent killer made its way home with the soldiers - Spanish flu...
'Uzak' (Distant) :: The Art of Slow Cinema
Hauntingly beautiful, 'Distant' communicates volumes with its almost pervasive silence. Ceylan contrasts rich and poor, educated and uneducated. But the quest for love remains..
BERLINALE 2020 Awards :: Rasoulof's There Is No Evil triumphs at the Berlinale
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's 'There Is No Evil' has triumphed at the 70th Berlinale, picking up the Golden Bear..
'The Sea Inside' :: Bardem is simply astounding
If ever there was a film that deserved to get the proverbial bump from Oscar, this is it. Rarely has any film so focused on death felt so vibrantly alive..
'PARI' :: Review :: BERLINALE 2020 Panorama
The debut feature by Siamak Etemadi, world-premiered in the Panorama section of the 70th Berlinale, depicts an Iranian mother's compelling journey in a foreign place..
'Wildland' :: Interview :: World premiere at the Berlinale
In 'Wildland', we follow a small family clan where love and violence become dangerously merged. In the interview, they talk about how they created the narrative, how they use..
Berlinale 2020 :: 11 films to look out for
Screen Daily picks out just a few of the stand-out titles playing at the event, from across the Competition, Berlinale Special, and Panorama sections..
Mahnaz Afshar :: 'Die Hochzeit'
The Iranian superstar Mahnaz Afshar was at the world premiere of the new Til Schweiger film "Die Hochzeit". She flew to Berlin for Schweiger and experienced a free wedding ceremony on the red carpet..
'RAAZI' :: Movie Review
Despite its shortcomings, Raazi has a lot going for it, especially its leading lady. If you are willing to suspend your imagination a bit, it can make for a fulfilling watch. The story of a Kashmiri spy married to a Pakistani man..
'The Two Popes' :: Movie Review
Superbly acted and a lot of fun to watch. Can two Catholic men share the Papacy without driving each other crazy? The Two Popes is a wonderful showcase of great acting..
As Lean experienced Khomeini's Arrival
Lean Waage Beck tells about her experiences as a sister-in-law to the revolutionary Foreign Minister of Iran. About the Iranian Revolution, also described in her book "Tehran Round-Trip"..
'Pain and Glory' :: Movie Review
The Spanish filmmaker's tale of a memory, regret and an aging director making peace with his past isn't just his most personal film — it's also one of his greatest..
SUNDANCE 2020 :: Massoud Bakhshi :: Interview
Iranian filmmaker Massoud Bakhshi discusses Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness, a majority European production recognised in Sundance and on its way to the Berlinale..
Oscars 2020 :: 'Parasite' wins in four categories
For the first time in history of the Oscars Parasite, an international film, Wins in four categories. Parasite, a South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho..
SUNDANCE 2020 :: 'Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness'
The future of a young woman facing retributive justice plays out live on the country's most popular reality show..
'Reaching for the Moon' :: 'The art of losing isn't hard to master'
An exotic love story becomes an empowering portrait of two highly gifted women who defy social convention. The life of American Poet..
'Things to Come' :: A Rare, Mature film of Ideas
Visually arresting, but never precious, it's filled with ideas that have relevance to actual life, ideas that are based on a moral conviction that a question well-posed is far more..
'Madame' :: A cute inversion of the Cinderella tale
Madame's retrograde trappings are further weighted down by unlikable characters and an overall inability to do justice to its themes. Rossy de Palma, a past muse of Spanish..
'FURIE' :: Don't Make a Vietnamese Mother Mad
When a little girl is kidnapped by a trafficking ring, her mother, a notorious former gang leader, is close on their trail and will go to any lengths to bring her child home..
'What They Had' :: A stunning feature debut
What They Had finds laughter and tears in its portrait of a family at a crossroads, with writer-director Elizabeth Chomko getting outstanding performances out of a talented..
'Marriage Story' :: Reaching for life after the death of divorce
Johansson and Driver are remarkably, heartbreakingly good in every scene; showing their characters' journeys to an unflinching camera, , letting the gap between them..
The Tale :: HBO's Most Controversial Movie Ever?
The Tale handles its extraordinarily challenging subject matter with sensitivity, grace, and the power of some standout performances led by a remarkable Laura Dern..
Bille August :: To direct psychological drama The Pact
The new feature by the Danish filmmaker centres on the secret relationship between Karen Blixen and young poet Thorkild Bjørnvig..
'Hotel by the River' :: Movie Review
Feeling, for no apparent reason, like he is going to die, an old poet, staying for free in a riverside hotel, summons his two estranged sons..
'The Irishman' :: Movie Review
Scorsese's expert direction allows the three and a half hour runtime to fly by. In fact, as soon as it's over you'll want to experience this achievement all over again..
Payman Maadi :: To receive the Stockholm Achievement Award
Iranian actor Payman Maadi will be awarded the 2019 Stockholm Achievement Award for his unique quality of reaching through the screen, past prejudices and over borders..
Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018)
Time moves differently in "Long Day's Journey Into Night," a sensuous, dream-like Chinese drama set in and around the Southeast mainland city of Kaili..
Written on the Wind :: A Masterpiece Of Self-Parody
Douglas Sirk is the one who established the kind of tone in melodramas, in which shocking behavior is treated with passionate solemnity, while parody burbles beneath...
VENICE 2019 :: Out of Competition :: 'ZeroZeroZero'
Gabriel Byrne plays Edward Lynwood, an important shipbroker from New Orleans who hides tonne-loads of cocaine in the hundreds of containers he moves between the New..
Venice Film Festival 2019 :: Polanski wins Silver Lion
Roman Polanski has won the Grand Jury Prize for 'An Officer and a Spy'. He did not attend the festival and the prize was instead collected by his wife Emmanuelle Seigner, who stars in..
Venice Film Festival 2019 :: 'Joker' Wins Golden Lion
'Joker' Wins Venice Film Festival Golden Lion, Roman Polanski Gets Grand Jury Prize. The top prize of the Lido went to Todd Phillips' revisionist take on the DC comic villain..
The Souvenir :: Movie Review
Tom Burke and Honor Swinton Byrne appear in The Souvenir by Joanna Hogg, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival..
Filmmakers Escorted Rasoulof to the Revolutionary Court
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof went to the Revolutionary Court to appeal his sentence on Monday, with a group of filmmakers reportedly accompanying him..
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower :: 2017
Documentary about Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activist Joshua Wong. When the Chinese Communist Party backtracks on its promise of autonomy to Hong Kong, teenager Joshua..
'Astronaut' :: Film Review :: Edinburgh 2019
Richard Dreyfuss plays a grouchy grandfather with interstellar ambitions in writer-director Shelagh McLeod's debut feature. Even though he knows the mission could kill him..
Cannes, New York Film Festivals :: Calls for Release of Mohammad Rasoulof
Organizers of the Cannes Film Festival are calling on Iran to release dissident filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, who was sentenced..
Bahman Mohasses ::
Fifi Howls From Happiness

Bahman Mohassess was a celebrated artist at the time of the Shah. Trained in Italy, he created sculptures and paintings in his homeland. Mitra Farahani's direction is..
ROBERT BRESSON :: Retrospective
Despite a relatively small body of work consisting of thirteen feature films made over forty years, Robert Bresson is one of the most revered and pivotal of French filmmakers..
Disconnect :: Movie Review
A complicated view of life in the Digital Age with its conflicts and relationships initiated through laptops, iPads and cell phones. People fall in love, exploit one another, reveal their deepest secrets and even commit..
Dictatorland :: Series 1 ::
1. Kazakhstan

From golden handprints of the president to the scene of a massacre, in Kazakhstan Ben Zand experiences the sinister and bizarre sides to living in a dictatorship..
“Travel to the Morning”
To commemorate Abbas Kiarostami at Tehran gallery
Tehran's E1 Gallery will organize an exhibition entitled “Travel to the Morning” in memory of legendary artist Abbas Kiarostami..
'Diego Maradona' (2019) :: Movie Review :: Cannes
A Gripping Saga of Soccer Legend's Fall From Grace. It's a dramatic shift, but only a starting point. "Amy" director Asif Kapadia's crafts an absorbing look at Maradona's epic journey..
How the Tiananmen Massacre Changed China forever
“There is a lesson the world could learn here, engagement as a policy is not wrong, but engagement… that obscures human rights is morally and politically wrong.”
A Love Letter to Caramel :: What happened to you Nadine Labaki?
I just finished watching Caramel on MUBI and, ladies and gentlemen, I am totally shocked. How on earth could I have misjudged this film?
Cannes 2019 :: Atlantics
Mati Diop's Dazzling Ghost Story
Mati Diop's feature-length directorial debut is a romantic and melancholy film, part social commentary, part ghost tale, that works best in its evocation of loss and female solidarity..
First Reformed :: Review
A Stunning, Enrapturing Film

Paul Schrader's “First Reformed,” in which Ethan Hawke brilliantly plays an alcoholic Protestant minister undergoing a profound spiritual and psychological crisis, is..
CANNES 2019 :: Competition
Antonio Banderas :: Pain & Glory
Antonio Banderas wins Cannes 'best actor' as Almodovar alter ego. Cineuropa met Spanish thesp Antonio Banderas to discuss Pedro Almodóvar's Pain & Glory..
CANNES 2019 :: Competition
Elia Suleiman :: It Must Be Heaven

Cineuropa sat down with Palestinian director Elia Suleiman to delve deeper into his Palme d'Or contender It Must Be Heaven. Elia Suleiman travels to different cities and finds..
Cannes 2019 :: Winners List
Bong Joon-ho Wins Palme d'Or
Alejandro González Iñárritu and his jury has announced the festival's best performances and films.The 2019 Cannes Film Festival officially comes to an end..
CANNES 2019 :: Sylvester Stallone :: Cannes Darling
Stallone was at the festival to promote "Rambo V: Last Blood" opening this fall. But the conversation, moderated by the journalist Didier Allouch, was mainly a look back at his..
CANNES 2019 :: Critics' Week :: Cesar Diaz :: Our Mothers
"Once we've all finished killing each other, what do we do with our dead? How do we heal our wounds? We need to take a look at the scars of our past. It has to start with..
Sorrentino's Youth (2015)
A Meditation on Art and Aging

Watching Youth, you'd swear Fellini had risen from his grave and returned to make another movie. Give it up for Michael Caine and Jane Fonda in this autumn-years drama that's an..
Cannes 2019 :: Nadine Labaki
President of the Un Certain Regard Jury at the 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival, the director, actress and screenwriter Nadine Labaki's career was first launched on the Croisette, and it is here that all her films..
Cannes 2019
Refn's "Too Old To Die Young"

After world premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, the television series will hit Amazon Prime Video this summer. A detective thriller from film provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn..
Nancy (2018) :: Review
This is a movie whose behind-the-camera creative team is almost entirely female. In several respects, “Nancy” exhibits a seriousness of purpose that's rare in American movies today..
'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'
Melissa McCarthy is a lock for a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the true story of Lee Israel, a lonely, embittered author of celebrity biographies who took up forgery to pay the bills..
BIF&ST 2019 :: Ali Vatansever :: Director of Saf
How do you stay human in a difficult place, when you're surrounded by monsters? How do you manage to stay pure when the world obliges you to take one side or the other?
'Never Look Away' :: Review
Germany's submission for the Best Foreign-Language Oscar turns a Gerald Richter-like painter into a symbol of social change. 'Never Look Away' concerns itself with love and war and the limitless reach of art..
Fernando Colomo :: La Banda Picasso (2013)
Filmed in French and set principally in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, La banda Picasso is a caper comedy about a burglary that is based on real characters and events..
Sundance Review :: 'Queen Of Hearts' (2019)
An intriguing, smartly sustained drama in which we learn to be wary of those who claim the moral high ground. Things are never going to end well in Queen Of Hearts, which follows a..
Rotterdam Review :: 'Sons Of Denmark' (2019)
This political thriller has shades of traditional tragedy and revolves around the question: How do you stay calm when society succumbs to fear and hate?..
CANNES 2019 Opening
Cannes to be opened by 'The Dead Don't Die'

The film by US director Jim Jarmusch will raise the curtain on the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (14-25 May) and will be screened in..
VISIONS DU RÉEL 2019
Review: The Wind. A Documentary Thriller

Michał Bielawski's fourth feature-length documentary about a mysterious and destructive wind is a real tour de force..
'Born in Evin' :: Processing the trauma of the Islamic Revolution
Born in Evin tells the story of the family of director and actor Maryam Zaree, who sets out to investigate the circumstances of her birth in one of the world's most notorious jails for..
'All the Money in the World'
Replacing Kevin Spacey in true-life kidnap thriller 'All the Money in the World,' Christopher Plummer plays tycoon John Paul Getty "with acid humor, stunted emotion and magisterial skill," writes Peter Travers..
'The Wild Pear Tree' :: A study of the conversational art
Whereas 'Winter Sleep' played like a journey into the darker corners of a troubled brain, 'The Wild Pear Tree' spends as much time being playful as it does cogitating on the great..
'The Bookshop' :: Review
The script may stutter but the cast - especially Mortimer and Nighy - hold this uneven project together. And Clarkson is but one of a legion of baddies to enjoy loathing. A free-spirited widow arrives in a whispering community..
'3 FACES' by JAFAR PANAHI :: at the Irish Film Institute
Iranian film '3 Faces' by Jafar Panahi is among three new films open at the Irish Film Institute on the 29th of March 2019: Irish documentary 'The Man Who Wanted to Fly,' drama..
CPH:DOX 2019 :: Marie Skovgaard's The Reformist
Marie Skovgaard's fascination with the woman behind Europe's first mosque run by female imams is contagious. The opening title of this year's edition of CPH:DOX (20-31 March)..
'Beautiful Boy' :: Review
Beautiful Boy, made through Brad Pitt's production company Plan B, is a moving, insightful and very delicately observed drama about a dad whose son is a crystal meth addict. Carell gives his finest performance..
"I DO Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians"
[The film] makes clear that you can have all the right answers, but they hardly matter when you're missing the questions and in fact aren't even having the same conversation..
'The Eyes of Orson Welles'
Mark Cousins' extraordinary, singular, complex take on a man who gave us Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil, some of the most baroque screen adaptations of the Bard ever made..
Under the Tree (2018)
:: Movie Review

What makes 'Under the Tree' a better-than-average satire on the unthinking hostilities that human beings are prone to is its steady intelligence, combined with a humor ..
'Before We Vanish' (2018) :: Movie Review
What happens to people when they're no longer sure of their character-defining obligations? We get it, we are prisoners of our beliefs. What now?..
They Shall Not Grow Old :: Movie Review
In this profound documentary event, Peter Jackson creates digital miracles-in 3D yet-to revitalize archival footage of World War I until faded history comes to vivid, vital life..
'Capernaum' :: Movie Review
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Nadine Labaki's Capernaum ("Chaos") tells the story of Zain (Zain al Rafeea), a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the "crime" of giving him life..
The Kindergarten Teacher
:: Movie Review

Elevated by a bravura performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Kindergarten Teacher is one American remake that retains its impact the second time around..
'Synonyms' :: Movie Review'
Nadav Lapid's astonishing, maddening, brilliant, hilarious, obstinate, and altogether unmissable new film “Synonyms” opens with a sequence that might be described as a sideways attempt at psychic suicide..
BERLIN 2019 :: Competition
Roberto Saviano :: Author
Cineuropa met up with Italian author Roberto Saviano to discuss Piranhas, the newest adaptation of one of his novels. 'The more they want me to keep silent, the more I talk'..
'At Eternity's Gate' :: Review
There have been plenty of films about the tortured Dutch artist, but none as evocative and affecting as Julian Schnabel's latest, led by mesmerizing work from Willem Dafoe in the central role..
Shoplifters (2018) :: Review
“Shoplifters” is full of gray areas. What exactly does family mean? Does giving birth to someone automatically make you a mother? One of Kore-eda's most nuanced, layered examinations of the concept..
Hollywood's DiCaprio
has voiced his support for jailed Iranian environmentalists

In a tweet on February 6, DiCaprio calls for support for the eight Iranian detainees who went on trial last month, some facing serious..
BERLIN 2019 :: Lone Scherfig's film to open the Berlinale
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An Iranian film director On the country's censorship laws

An Iranian film director
On the country's censorship laws (1/2)

france24.com
Iran / cinema - 08/18/2017

How does censorship work in Iran? In the past decade, at least 25 films have been banned in Iran, for a variety of reasons.

The Iranian film industry is one of the most respected in the world and wins dozens of international prizes each year. However, before they are released, films produced in Iran must go in front of the state censorship board. We spoke with Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani to find out the real deal about making movies in a theocracy.

The FRANCE 24 Observers team is publishing a two-part interview about censorship and Iranian cinema. Stay tuned for part two.


"Delighted" by Abdolreza Kahani

How does censorship work in Iran? In the past decade, at least 25 films have been banned in Iran, for a variety of reasons.

The film "Asabani Nistam" ("I’m not angry", in English) by director Reza Dormishian was banned in 2014 because the story centres on the Green movement, an opposition movement that came to prominence in 2009. The films "Mehmoonie Kami" ("Kami's Party") by director Ali Ahmadzadeh and "Delighted" by Abdolreza Kahani, which are both about social tension in Iran, were also banned.

This is an excerpt from the film "Delighted" by Abdolreza Kahani, which follows three young girls pursuing rich men. This film was banned in Iran, but, as the director says in this tweet: “I wanted to show you a tiny excerpt from my film."

"To get authorisation to film in Iran, you need to go through several steps” -- Abdolreza Kahani



However, it’s not just overtly political films that are affected by censorship in Iran. In reality, censors scrutinise the whole industry-- down to even the tiniest elements of a scene or screenplay. It’s a complex system, but director Abdolreza Kahani — who has won numerous international prizes — has dealt with it enough to know the ropes. Some of his films have been either partially or completely banned by the board.

There are multiple steps to getting authorisation to film in Iran. First, you have to submit a complete screenplay to the examination commission at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The members of this commission read the screenplay to check that there is nothing that is overtly problematic in it. If there is a “problem”, they request modifications to the text or just delete the section themselves. They can also decide to throw out the entire screenplay.

Once we get this initial authorisation, then we can start filming. When we finish up the filming, another commission examines the film to make sure that we respected all regulations and that what we made follows the screenplay that we submitted. They can censor different scenes or ask us to modify them. If it is approved, then the commission gives us the authorisation to screen it.

A lot of films are banned at this step, including my film, "Delighted" — even though the finished film was even more conservative than the screenplay that had been originally approved.

This scene from the film "Gashat Ershad" was banned in Iran because one of the actors appears totally drunk in it.

   

Banned by powerful figures

Even if you have those two authorisations, you aren’t in the clear. There are a lot of Iranian films that get all the necessary authorisations but are never screened because an ayatollah [Editor’s note: a high-ranking member of the Shiite clergy who is an expert in Islamic studies] publicly opposes them.

There is also a powerful and conservative group that owns multiple cinemas in Iran. Sometimes, this group refuses to screen films that it sees as going against its conservative values.

In fact, many of the films that get initial authorisations are ultimately banned after objections from various powerful circles. One of the most recent examples is "50 Kilos of Sour Cherries", which was only ever screened in Tehran. It didn’t play in any other theatres across the country because of the objections of various ayatollahs and the Basij  [Editor’s note: The Basij is a paramilitary branch of the Revolutionary Guards that is responsible for interior security. It also has a “cultural” department].

Unfortunately, Iran has a lot of powerful people, like influential scholars at religious universities, who can block films. I had trouble with the police over my film "Absolutely Tame Is a Horse". The Ministry of Culture told me that, for my next film, I needed to get police authorisation to film in the street. That is one of the reasons that I decided to film my next movie "By No Reason", entirely inside.

In this tweet, director Abdolreza Kahani writes: "The Ministry of Culture needs to keep its promise: a year later, we are still waiting for 'Delighted' to be released [in Iran]”. During the presidential election in May 2017, authorities had promised to re-examine the cases of several films banned in Iran.

   
Also banned abroad

   
These bans also apply outside of Iran. That means that if a film is banned, we are not allowed to screen it abroad. Sometimes, films are authorised in Iran, but authorities ban any international screening.

I won several prizes at international festivals for my film, "Twenty". After that, authorities banned me from screening my next four films abroad. They even banned me from sending my films to international festivals. If I had done it anyway, they would have prevented me from making other films in Iran.

They explained that Iranians were allowed to see the social problems that I highlight in my films, but that there was no need to show them to foreigners.



Kami`s Party. from Ali Ahmadzadeh on Vimeo.
   
The film "Kami`s Party” was censored in Iran. The director ended up posting it on Vimeo as a sign of protest.

   
Earning a bad reputation

However, the rules change depending on the directors. Certain directors, who have close relationships with Iranian authorities, can explore certain taboo topics — but that’s only because authorities know that these directors will express the official point of view on these topics. Directors who don’t question the position and beliefs of the authorities are much more free.

In 2011, I wrote a screenplay about underground fashion shows in Iran. My request was denied, but another filmmaker was given permission to make a film about the same subject. When I asked why he was allowed to make the film, the authorities told me, “He was allowed and you weren’t. We knew ahead of time that you’d make a film impossible to screen.”

   
What is banned in Iranian films?

   
Representation of women

   
There are a lot of things that we can’t show in films in Iran. Any actresses must be covered in an Islamic manner in every scene, which results in ridiculous situations.

   
In Iranian films, women must always wear a hijab, even when they are alone or with their families — even though both sharia law and Iranian law only require women to wear a hijab when they are around strangers.

   
Physical contact

   
We can’t show a man and a woman in the same bed, even if they are completely covered and a metre apart. Actors and actresses can’t be seen touching each other in any situation.

Imagine if one of them is sick. In Iranian films, when someone is injured or sick, the other person can’t do anything but cry. We can’t show them touching each other — even though it is such a simple, natural gesture. We also can’t show any alcohol or drugs in our films.

I filmed "We Have Time” in France. There are several scenes that show people who aren’t Iranian drinking, dancing and touching each other. Authorities in Iran asked me to cut out all of those scenes. If I had done that, I would have lost 20 minutes from my film — and it would have turned into a short film. I didn’t do it, but that meant that I was not allowed to screen it.

The Iranian comedy "Dracula" is one striking example of censorship in Iran. In certain scenes, the actors apparently looked too sexy and the women were wearing too much make-up. In another scene, a man running for public office appeared to be a drug addict. The censorship board cut out 13 minutes of the film but afterwards it was still released in Iran.



The story of a man and his wife

In my film "Absolute Rest”, I asked the wife of one of the actors to appear in the film so that I could film her touching him a few times. However, the examination commission asked me to cut the scene. I explained to them that the actress was the real-life wife of the actor.

Their response was, “Okay, but the public doesn’t know that.” We ended up adding a message at the beginning of the film that says “The woman in the film is the real-life wife of the actor” and it was only after that that we were allowed to keep the scene. People made fun of the message, saying “Who cares?” In any case, we weren’t able to show viewers the real relationship between these two people.

Iranian authorities permitted a scene where a man touches a woman in the film "Absolute Rest" on the condition that the director add a written explanation at the start of the film explaining that the actress was the real-life wife of the actor.


Religious figures always have to be angelic

We also aren’t allowed to show any religious figure in a negative light. They can’t be anything other than a completely good person.

In my film "By No Reason”, for example, there is a female religious figure who, according to the examination commission, isn’t a nice person. But, in my films, I don’t make my characters black or white, I want them to be realistic. "You need to change it, you can’t show a religious woman who isn’t lovely; otherwise, it is anti-religious propaganda,” they told me.

According to Abdolreza Kahani, addressing societal issues like prostitution or any form of corruption goes way beyond just crossing the red line established by censors.

In the last 40 years, Iranian authorities have clamped down on several films because they were about taboo topics. That’s the case for director Jafar Panahi’s film "Offside", which tells the story of a group of young girls who are arrested for trying to go see a men’s football match, which women are forbidden from attending.

Article written with
Alijani Ershad , Journaliste



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