There’s censorship, and then there’s the Iranian government’s treatment of director Jafar Panahi. Despite a 20-year ban on making films or writing screenplays, Panahi has continued to work and rack up festival awards, smuggling his films out of the country in defiance of all efforts to silence him. Winner of the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear award, Taxi, is a case in point, a direct act of artistic protest against a repressive regime. Think classier Michael Moore with more cogent content, as Taxi is a slightly fictionalized account of Panahi, playing a taxi driver while barred from his true calling and still under house arrest, driving around Tehran and commenting on his own situation while interacting with what appear to be everyday citizens. Funny, disarming and audacious, Taxi is the right kind of statement to make in response to fascistic dictatorships hellbent on controlling their own narrative.

  • SD
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