Credit: Celluloid Dreams
by Dhruv Goyal Essays Feature Articles Featured Film

Jafar Panahi’s Post-Arrest Filmography: Deliberating Defiance

January 9, 2024

There always seems to be an imaginary asterisk placed on discussions centered around films made by filmmakers who have been pushed into a Kafkaesque corner. The very existence of the film — its daring means of production and distribution — becomes the focal point of attention; the filmmaking itself comes secondary, or, worse still, doesn’t factor in at all. It would, of course, be foolish to discuss the image’s low-res quality and audio’s unclarity without addressing the circumstances under which a filmmaker made it. But wouldn’t it be similarly reductive to champion a film just based on its context? Shouldn’t an equal amount of consideration be given to how the filmmaker, operating within such a confined space, uses cinematic tools to create infinite dimensions from it?

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