‘3 Faces’ – a film by Jafar Panahi

Piero Loredan, SJ

 Piero Loredan, SJ / Culture / 21 March 2019

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Jafar Panahi is an Iranian filmmaker known internationally for his courageous films denouncing social evils in the authoritarian regime of his country. In 2010, Panahi was banned from filming after a number of movies and documentaries critical of the conditions of women in present-day Iran. Forbidden to write screenplays or give interviews he was also barred from leaving the country.

Panahi did not give up and – confined to closed spaces with only the bare essentials – he directed This is not a film and Closed Curtain. In 2015, the film Taxi Teheran – his first shot outdoors since 2010 – won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Panahi acts and directs himself, sitting at the wheel of a taxi he listens to his passengers, recording their life stories.

Cinema within cinema

In 3 Faces the director exercises a little more freedom: the scenes are not only shot in the closed confines of a taxi but take place out in the open in three villages.

Alongside the director, the popular Iranian actress Behnaz Jafari takes on a leading role in the film, where they play themselves.

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