Fri, Jun 2 – Wed, Jun 7

Director: Jafar Panahi, Cast: Jafar Panhai, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobasheri, Special Jury Prize Winner at the Venice Film Festival, Persian with English subtitles, NR

One of the world’s great cinematic artists, Jafar Panahi has been carefully crafting self-reflexive works about artistic, personal, and political freedom for the past three decades, despite his oppression at the hands of the Iranian government. In No Bears, as in many of his recent titles, Panahi plays a fictionalized version of himself, in this case relocated to a rural border town to remotely direct a new film in nearby Turkey—the story of which comes to sharply mirror disturbing events that begin to occur around him. As he struggles to complete his film, Panahi finds himself thrust in the middle of a local scandal, confronting the opposing pulls of tradition and progress, city and country, belief and evidence, and the universal desire to reject oppression. “This Is Not a Film,’ ‘Closed Curtain,’ ‘Taxi’ and ‘3 Faces’ have all been brilliant, but ‘No Bears’ transcends them as both outlawed artistry and a moral interrogation of that art itself.” —Bob Strauss, San Francisco Chronicle