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Eight years into his filmmaking ban, Iranian director Jafar Panahi (This is Not a Film, Taxi) delivers another perceptive sideways glance at the contradictions of contemporary Iranian society. An audacious triumph from a director who has already confirmed his place as one of the most important filmmakers of the 21st Century, 3 FACES is a road trip through patriarchal rural Iran that becomes an odyssey of enlightenment.
Iranian actor Behnaz Jafari (playing herself) is distraught after receiving an apparent suicide note from a girl who family forbade her to attend drama school. Fleeing a film set with her director (played by Panahi himself) in tow, they embark on a road trip to Iran’s rural north to locate the girl.
Directing often farcical encounters with locals with signature restraint, Panahi gently probes the customs that impact women in all areas of Iranian society.
A celebrated champion of the Iranian New Wave, Panahi’s irrepressible, mischievous storytelling has found its way onto the biggest international stages, even though he himself cannot leave the country. His post-ban films have emerged as a playful, unique body of work unto themselves, with 3 FACES no exception.