Jafar PANAHI Iran 107 mins PG Singapore Premiere
Two tales about love and escape—entwined, embattled and unfurling through understated yet witty subversions of cinematic conventions.
Jafar Panahi has just moved to a rural village to remotely oversee filming in a nearby town over the border. Parallel stories unfold across these situations as desires—those between partners, for a future, or to craft art—are suppressed by larger forces of social and political authority.
While naturalistic in style, No Bears blurs the bounds of documentary and fiction, deftly playing with and eluding narrative anticipation—its framing shaped by the conditions of state repression that Panahi and other filmmakers face in Iran. This reality of his intertwines with the worlds other characters inhabit, throwing loyalties, hierarchies and truths into question amid contentions of criminality and liberty.
Acclaimed Iranian director Jafar PANAHI’s films are known for their humanistic perspective on life in Iran. Though barred from filmmaking and leaving the country since 2010, he has continued creating fresh, award-winning works such as Taxi (2015), which picked up the Berlinale’s Golden Bear, and 3 Faces (2018). He was sentenced to jail in July 2022.