Screening in official competition at the 62nd Sydney Film Festival, the third feature film Jafar Panahi has made while technically not making films (officially, at any rate), after This is Not a Film (2011) and Closed Curtain (2013), Tehran Taxi (2015) is his strongest “banned” film, not least for the lightness of touch and infusion of hope with which he deals with the weightiest of topics.
Using humour more freely than in his previous banned films, Panahi seems more at ease, both physically as an actor (he features as the central figure as himself playing a taxi driver, picking up (seemingly) random passengers off the street) but also as a filmmaker, delighting in the play-acting of his cast playing out “real-life” situations, while never undermining the seriousness of the predicament in which he has found himself (i.e. that of a banned filmmaker under house arrest).
The line between fact and fiction is…
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