Taxi (Jafar Panahi's Taxi)


Rafael 1 Tue, Oct 13, 2015 1:00 PM
Lark Theatre Sat, Oct 17, 2015 5:15 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:82 min
Director:Jafar Panahi
Producer:Jafar Panahi
Screenwriter:Jafar Panahi
Print Source:Kino Lorber
Note Writer:Lily Buchanan


Taxi 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 panacheand his niece accepted the Golden Bear for best film in his stead at this year’s Berlinale.

Co-presented by Iranian Film Festival

Additional Information

Jafar Panahi was born in 1960 in Mianeh, Iran. He is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. After several short films and documentaries, he directed his first feature The White Balloon, which premiered in 1977 at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight and won the Camera d’Or. The Mirror premiered in 2000 in Locarno and won the Golden Leopard. The Circle premiered in 2003 In Venice and won the Golden Lion. Crimson Gold premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes and won The Jury Prize. Offside premiered in 2010 in Berlin and won the Silver Bear for Best Director. This is Not a Film premiered in 2012 in Cannes, and Closed Curtain premiered in 2013 in Berlin and won the Silver Bear for Best Script. Panahi’s films are known for portraying realistic images of Iranian society, causing them to be banned from the screen in Iran. Only his first film, The White Balloon has been granted a screening license in Iran. Panahi was arrested twice; the second time for 86 days. The Iranian government released Panahi on bail following pressure from international film festivals, artists, and filmmakers and Panahi’s own hunger strike. He was condemned to a twenty-year ban on filmmaking, screenwriting, traveling outside of the country, and giving interviews, and he could be condemned to six years in prison if he breaks these restrictions. As a result, his past three films were made without authorization. Panahi has won a number of human right prizes, including the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and The Medal of Art for Freedom.