This Is Not a Film
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This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence - six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking - Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking. -- (C) Palisades Tartan

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This film is unique in a dreadful way: what happens on screen would not be particularly interesting without the facts surrounding its making."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"Truly and defiantly extraordinary in its own quiet way."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Powerfully shows how freedom in the arts is a necessity for any country to ensure its citizens don't live a lie."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"One mourns the tragic circumstances that caused it to be made, but the result is a sleight of hand to rank alongside Orson Welles's F for Fake."
‑ Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago
"The complex, brilliant, heartbreaking diary of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi under house arrest in Tehran, and prohibited from making movies."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
"Not a conventional film, certainly, but a powerful and important statement."
‑ Tom Charity,
"This may not be a film, but it's a moving statement of defiance and despair."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"There's a tremendous power under the simple-looking surface."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"See it any way you possibly can. It will change your life forever."
‑ Amy R. Handler, Film Threat
"I find myself returning again and again to Jafar Panahi's apartment in Tehran, the defining location for the year in cinema, one of the defining locations in all of cinema."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"There is courage and cheekiness here. What there is not is a story, or much insight or even anger; anyone expecting an indictment of Iran will be sorely disappointed."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"It's a cry from the heart of an artist compelled to create, tell stories and respond to hostile, confounding realities."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"No matter the constrictions on its existence, This is Not a Film is, in fact, a great one."
‑ Eric Kohn, indieWIRE
"This Is Not a Film is a practical joke as much as it is a movie, and while it possesses a deadly serious undercurrent, what's most surprising is how witty the finished product is."
‑ Mark Deming, TV Guide's Movie Guide
""This Is Not a Film", but it manages to be a bloody great one, anyway."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
More reviews for This Is Not a Film on Rotten Tomatoes