No Bears (Khers Nist)

Sunday, 11.6.2023, 7:15 p.m.

Feature film
IR 2022, 107 min
Director: Jafar Panahi
With: Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Mina Kavani, Bulent Keser, Sinan Yusufoglu
Turkic-language Azeri and Farsi with English subtitles.

A filmmaker – Panahi himself – wants to secretly coordinate a film shoot in Turkey from a Turkish-Iranian border village, despite government repression. At the same time, he is confronted with absurd accusations from the Azeri-speaking villagers: He is said to have photographed a pair of lovers.

In fourteen years of illegal shooting, Panahi has found new mastery. “No Bears” is a “parable about the oppressive stagnation of a society and the panic-stricken rejection of change: in the city under the pressure of authorities, in the village in the bias of superstition. How do you make art to make society change when it doesn’t want to?”

* A purchase is worthwhile from the fourth film onwards.


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Jafar Panahi (*1960 in Iran) is considered one of Iran’s most important filmmakers. Since he can only shoot under restricted conditions, his films revolve around the themes of limitation and desire for freedom, creativity and censorship. In 2023 he was allowed to leave Iran for the first time after 14 years.