It is said that the best art emerges when restrictions are placed upon the artist. The necessity of overcoming obstacles gets the brain working as the artist must construct creative ways around his or her barriers. But, an artist must have some freedom, of course – presumably. Let's look at the case of Jafar Panahi.
Panahi is an Iranian filmmaker. His government does not like him much. He was sentenced to six years in prison and a twenty year ban on filmmaking because he supported Iran's Opposition Party. The book “Sexus” by Henry Miller discusses the idea that the true Artist is always Creating, even in their own head, and they always have the urge to Create and cannot let it go thus they become stagnant – dead. Panahi is an artist. Unable to accept the ban on his art, he proceeds to document a day in his life, with the help of his friend Mojtaba Mirtahasb. They shot on a small DV camera and an iPhone. The result is called This is Not a Film.
The controversy only escalated after completion of their work. Dozens of prominent filmmakers rose up in support of Panahi. Mirtahasb was detained on the way to attend the Toronto International Film Festival, and the film had to be smuggled in a cake from Iran to France to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
This Sunday, the Clifton Center will screen This is Not a Film as part of the Wild and Woolly film series. The Clifton Center is located at 2117 Payne Street. The show starts at 7:00 and is $5 for the general public and free for Friends of the Clifton Center. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Carmichael's (2720 Frankfort Avenue) or at the Clifton Center website.
Image: Internet Movie Database