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Banned from filmmaking, this Iranian director ignored his government — and it’s paying off

by Shirin Jaafari.


What do you do when your government bans you from making films? Ignore them — in spectacular fashion.

That’s what Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has done, anyway. In 2010, Iran banned him from making films for 20 years after the government accused him of working on a documentary about the 2009 uprising in Iran. He was also barred from leaving the country.

But just a year later, he released a documentary called “This Is Not a Film.” Set in his apartment and shot on a digital camera and an iPhone, it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival — after allegedly being smuggled out of Iran in a USB thumb drive hidden inside a cake.

Now Panahi has again managed to get one of his movies in front of the judges at a major international film festival, this time in Berlin. His latest film, called “Taxi,” takes place entirely inside a yellow cab snaking its way through the streets of Tehran.

Read the rest of this article from PRI.org

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