Jafar Panahi, the ‘Iranian New Wave’ filmmaker has truly revolutionised the art of film making since his debut back in 1995. The works of this vibrant filmmaker leave a long-term impact on the audience through the powerful messages that they carry but at the same time, the films are absolutely blissful to watch. He brings revolutions and advocates great causes like women empowerment or gender equality in the hostile political environment of Iran without caring about himself. He is an inspiration for all the young filmmakers and it is the people like him who truly add meaning to the word “cinema”.
Thinking about which movies of Jafar Panahi you need to watch right at the moment? Well, here are five films of Jafar Panahi that must be on your “must watch list”:
1. This Is Not a Film (2011)
On September 2011 Jafar Panahi released his movie titled “This is not a film”. From Iran, the movie was secretly smuggled within a birthday cake to Cannes. The documentary that Jafar shot on his mobile phone during his house arrest was screened at the 2011 Cannes film festival as well as in New York film festival. The Slight & Sound magazine featured this film at the eighth place in the list of its best movies for the year 2012. Jafar was under house arrest when he shot this documentary that showcases his day to day life. With this magnificent film, Jeffery shows a non-violent protest against the Iranian government and informs the world about worsened socio-political condition.
2. The Circle (2000 film)
The circle or “Dayereh” as it is colloquially known, is Jafar’s cloistral debutant movie. It focuses on the suffering and crimes committed against the women by the Iranian Republic. It showers a glimpse over importance issues like domestic violence, abortion, prostitution and violence of human rights. Panahi directed this movie beautifully with a roving camera. Panahi follows different women with their different stories depicting that they are following the same circle of female injustice.
3. Offside (2006)
In 2006 Jafar presented the world with a brilliantly scripted movie titled “Offside”. It is an entertaining black comedy. The story is about 5 female football fans, who try to enter Tehran Tazi stadium all dressed up in male attire. They were later arrested by Iranian police, as women are forbidden from attending any sports event in Iran. The story of “Offside” seems to be a comedy but depicts the harsh reality of gender inequality in Iran powerfully.
4. Taxi (2015)
“Taxi” is another exceptional movie from the gifted Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. This movie was also smuggled out from Iran. “Taxi” was featured at the 65th Berlin International Film festival. The film won a “Golden Bear” and a “Fipresci” trophy at Berlin. In this movie, Jafar beautifully depicts the life in Iran. He plays the role of a taxi driver and communicates with various passengers to uphold their stories as well as grievances against the Iranian government. The genius of Jafar Panahi and the exceptional performance of the fellow actors helps the viewers to understand and relate to the pain of the Iranian populace.
5. The White Balloon (1995)
Yet another of Jafari’s comedy art film with a beautiful message; which illustrates the journey of an innocent child who meets kind and honest strangers on her way. The script is simple with a great flow in it. The story of “The White Balloon” is about a girl Razeih; who wants to buy a goldfish for New Year’s Eve. Her mother gives her money as she travels down to town to buy her goldfish. On the way, she meets different people, who help her to get her present for the New Year.
These films are very pleasurable to watch and at the same time, they transpire a powerful message to the world. Grab a bowl of popcorn; start your movie marathon and witness the enigma of the truest form of art.
“Cinema” has a powerful impact on the society of today. The films are not just for entertaining the masses rather they serve as the way to transpire certain messages to the people across the globe. The films are ways for making people aware of the harsh realities of the world in an entertaining way.