Apr. 5, 2023: No Bears

Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2023
7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Director: Jafar Panahi
Iran, 2022
Farsi, Azeri, and Turkish; 107 minutes

A director (Jafar Panahi) is stationed in a village where he remotely directs a crew shooting a movie just on the other side of the Iranian border in Turkey. When he is asked to share a photograph he allegedly took of a local couple in a forbidden relationship, he insists he took no such photo, yet the village men refuse to believe him. An ingeniously crafted story of parallel narratives, No Bears is a thoughtful, engaging, and surprisingly entertaining commentary on borders, superstitions, and the desire to escape oppression.

A master class in house-arrest filmmaking from Jafar Panahi.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

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 moral interrogation of that art itself.
Bob Strauss, San Francisco Chronicle

Its very existence is an act of defiance, a metafictional portrait of a dissident artist still at work. It also had a flavour all its own: a complex layer cake of guilt and suspicion, where even a great shot by a master director is a suspect device.
Danny Leigh, Financial Times