Jafar Panahi sure has had an interesting go of things trying to bring his vision of his home country to the big screen. Panahi’s 2000 drama “The Circle” was banned in Iran and found him involved in a tussle with the Iranian government, who accused him of spreading and broadcasting anti-government sentiments amongst his people. When his new film “Taxi” won the coveted Golden Bear at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, Panahi’s daughter had to pick up the award on his behalf. He has long been banned from making films, despite his stature as one of the most influential directors in that part of the world. And yet the filmmaker has remained passionate about what he believes is the importance of people exercising their freedom to see his films, and his story is nothing if not inspiring. A new trailer and poster for “Taxi” has just landed online (called “Jafar Panahi’s Taxi” in North America), just ahead of the film’s bow at TIFF.
Panahi wrote and directed the film, and also plays the film’s titular man behind the wheel. The film, which sees Panahi’s guileless driver shepherding around a rotating gallery of characters, gives off a lightly comic vibe on the basis of the trailer and yet, if advance word is to be believed, the picture itself is anything but funny. “Taxi” is allegedly as politically-minded as anything the incendiary director has cooked up in the past, and much of the film was said to be shot in secret in the director’s apartment and one other location, with occasional forays into crowded city streets proving to be an unusual risk. The trailer certainly looks intriguing, however, and we’ll gladly take our hats off to Panahi for pursuing his charged vision, no matter what the cost.
Watch the trailer and check out the official poster below. “Jafar Panahi’s Taxi” opens on October 2nd.