Cert: 15 Runtime: 82 mins Director: Jafar Panahi Cast: Jafar Panahi
Mr.Panahi I know it’s you
Jafar Panahi is a man that I have only come across recently and Taxi Tehran my first of his films. He is an Iranian film-maker that continues to make films even though he is banned from film-making. At one point he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, but his 20 year film-making ban continues. Taxi Tehran is his latest film, it follows taxi passengers express their views and opinions as filmmaker Jafar Panahi drives through the streets of Tehran, Iran.”Taxi” is his third such film and like the other two, had to be smuggled out of the country to be seen. It is for the most part an engaging film, but given that it all takes place in a taxi and as such, is almost completely driven by dialog, it can drag a little.
Panahi assumes the guise of a taxi driver and drives around a city, much like any other city, picking up various passengers throughout the day. There are moments of hilarity as Pahani deals with one situation after another, but underneath it all is a telling story of what life is like in Iran today, with particular attention to issues of censorship, state sanctioned brutality, women’s rights, and of course, how this affects the arts and culture. It makes light of life in Iran and pokes fun at the powers that be, all the while recognizing that their actions have serious ramifications. Still, for what it is, a piece of political theater, it is really excellent. If you get a chance to see it, I’d recommend it if for no other reason than to get a small feel for a country we, in the Western world, get to see so little of.