is Jafar Panahi at his best: It’s a reminder that you can put your artists under house arrest, but you can’t confine the creative spirit. Panahi’s spirit is evident in this engaging, sometimes hilarious, taxi ride through Tehran. The director himself is securely at the helm, chauffeuring passengers whose conversations are captured on a dashboard "security" camera, and who represent a wily look at contemporary Iran. A woman and a man face off about crime, punishment, and the law; a black-market DVD salesman talks about cinema, as does Panahi’s young niece. Visual references suggest other films: the taxi, Kiarostami’s Ten
; a scene with a goldfish, Panahi’s The White Balloon
(MVFF 1995). The ending is nothing short of brilliance, on a motorbike. Still officially “banned” from filmmaking, Panahi navigates the final credits with panache—
and his niece accepted the Golden Bear for best film in his stead at this year’s Berlinale.
Co-presented by Iranian Film Festival