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Movies of necessity

3 women (See rokh)
Regissør: Jafar Panahi
(Iran )

PROHIBITION PROHIBITION / Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi continues to make films with more and more room for maneuver, despite being sentenced to both occupational and exit bans.

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

Da Jafar Panahi feature film The white balloon won the award for best debut film – Caméra d'Or – at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, it was the first time an Iranian film was awarded one of the festival's most important awards. Since then, Panahi has been among the foremost filmmakers in Iran – which has long characterized itself as a strong film nation.

This is despite the fact that Iranian film has been subject to extensive state censorship ever since before the revolution in 1979. Panahi has been arrested several times, and in 2010 was sentenced to an occupational ban for the entire 20 year – as well as an outlaw ban.

The film is strongly characterized by being made out of necessity – and hardly without personal risk to those involved.

However, the ban has not stopped him from making films, which he gets smuggled out of the country and shown at the world's biggest and most prestigious festivals. The premieres 3 kvinner (with international title 3 Faces) is the director's fourth feature film since he was placed under a professional ban. These also include the documentary This is Not a Movie – a title that ironically comments on the punishment – and Taxi Tehran, who won the main prize Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015. For obvious reasons, Panahi could not even attend to receive the prize, as he could not attend the Cannes festival then 3 kvinner was shown in last year's main competition. There it was awarded with the award for best manuscript.

Travel to the countryside

3 kvinner begins with a video that a girl has taken of herself on her mobile phone, where she tells about her dream of becoming an actress. She has even entered the acting academy in Tehran, but her family has opposed this. The video is directed at the famous Iranian actress Behnaz Jafari, who the desperate girl claims has never answered her repeated inquiries. Then it ends very dramatically with her possibly taking her own life.

The next
the scene shows Jafari in a car with filmmaker Panahi, both playing themselves
in the movie. Panahi has been sent the video and has then sought out Jafari below
a film recording. She then decided to come with him to the small village
the girl comes from, to find out if it really is a suicide they have
witnessed. The scene is filmed in the original way in one take, where the whole camera
time is in the car – even when the characters move out of it.

meta Fiction

3 kvinner has several similarities to Panahi's previous film Taxi Tehran, which was filmed in its entirety with a small camera placed inside a car, as well as occasional footage with cell phones and the like. The new film is also a metaphor, where the director himself plays a central role in front of the camera. Again with the same gentle appearance as last, even when the drama of single scenes is at its most intense.

3 women take the form of a "road movie" to the mountain areas in
northwestern Iran.

But there Taxi Tehran was a kind of fragmented study of the Iranian capital and its inhabitants, Ta 3 kvinner in the form of a road movie to the mountainous areas of northwestern Iran. With this, the film paints a portrait of the more rural side of the country, and a culture that contrasts with the environment and mentality of the two urban cultural personalities Panahi and Jafari.

3 women (See rokh)
Director Jafar Panahi

During the four feature films Panahi saw
far has made under the professional ban, he has gradually let the action play out
themselves over larger areas. The first two films This
is Not a Film
og Closed
was filmed secretly in respectively
the director's town flat and house by the sea.
Taxi Tehran
was, as mentioned, filmed from inside a car,
where Panahi himself was a kind of pirate taxi driver driving around Tehran hunting
after stories. While 3 kvinner so the step – or rather the drive – takes place on the Iranian one
the countryside.

The position of women

The new movie is
cinematically also freer than its predecessor, and does not bind itself to one
similar concept of only filming from inside the car. With this, it is also more
conventional in expression. Again, the metafictional approach comes into play
documentary elements, but 3 kvinner is nevertheless experienced
as a purer fiction film than Taxi Tehran. The film may have certain associations with Abbas Kiarostamis The taste of cherry – and can therefore possibly be considered a greeting
to the late Iranian filmmaker, for whom Panahi was assistant director before him
even feature film debutants. Admittedly, I miss more of the playful humor and that
lighten the tone Taxi
, which stood in effective
contrast to the sometimes very serious themes. At the same time is 3 kvinner more focused in its subject matter, where the spotlight
mainly directed at the position of women in traditional Iranian
society. It is both impressive and inspiring to see that Panahi keeps giving
itself greater room for maneuver in these films. Also 3 kvinner bears a strong impression of being made of
necessity – and hardly without personal risk for those involved. But you can
also hope that the films can act as a form of insurance, then it
the attention of the international film community will possibly make the country
authorities more reluctant to impose sanctions.

Although not as prominent this time, the director here also takes up his own professional ban. IN 3 kvinner this is done primarily through a telephone conversation with the mother – where he assures her that he does not make films. But we should be grateful that he does.

3 kvinner has Norwegian cinema premiere June 7.

avatar photos
Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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