Aroview: Persecuted Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi turns the camera on himself in this galvanizing protest film about the physical and creative imprisonment of one of world cinema’s finest directors.
Beginning as a sobering political statement on the futility of artistic freedom in contemporary Iran, Panahi’s mood is surprisingly upbeat for a man due to be jailed at any moment, and he embraces the simultaneous roles of actor, director, and cameraman (via a iPhone) with the same ingenuity and plurality that is synonymous with Iranian cinema. Indeed, the film’s true feat – and regardless of what the title says, it most certainly is one – is its ability to make something out of nothing, proving in the end to be an act of defiance, triumphant not only in its message, but in its expression of the endless possibilities of cinema.
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