No Bears was shot entirely in secret by now imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi. Playing himself, the banned director genially constructs his film with oblique realism despite being thwarted by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition, and the mechanics of power. There are actually several films within this narrative beyond Panahi’s own story as a director who can’t show up on set, including the parallel love stories in the film he’s meant to be directing and the one that he becomes entangled with near the Turkish border. A NYT Critic’s Pick.
“Panahi, whose courage and honesty are beyond doubt, has made a movie that calls those very qualities into question, a movie about its own ethical limits and aesthetic contradictions.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“In the auteur’s latest masterpiece, every moment is suffused with not just purpose, but captivating beauty.” — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobasheri
Turkish, Persian, Azerbaijani