Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

Poster for Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

Internationally acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi (This is Not a Film) is banned from making movies by the Iranian government. In Jafar Panahi’s Taxi—written, produced and directed by the filmmaker—he drives a yellow cab through the vibrant streets of Tehran, picking up a diverse (and yet representative) group of passengers in a single day. Each man, woman, and child candidly expresses his or her own view of the world, while being interviewed by the curious and gracious driver/director. His camera, placed on the dashboard of his mobile film studio, captures a spirited slice of Iranian society while also brilliantly redefining the borders of comedy, drama and cinema.

Director’s Statement:

“I’m a filmmaker. I can’t do anything else but make films. Cinema is my expression and the meaning of my life. Nothing can prevent me from making films. Because when I’m pushed into the furthest corners I connect with my inner self. And in such private spaces, despite all limitations, the necessity to create becomes even more of an urge. Cinema as an art becomes my main preoccupation. That is the reason why I have to continue making films under any circumstances to pay my respects and feel alive.”

“From its initial first-person, behind-the-wheel viewpoint to its final implication of all-pervasive surveillance, Panahi creates a fascinating hybrid that becomes a microcosm of Tehran.” (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)

“It’s an act of defiance that’s also a sublime piece of cinema, and it ranks among the director’s finest work.” (Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times)

“An insightful, enjoyable, absorbing ride that stands as a testament to its director’s lively, ungovernable storytelling imagination.” (Jessica Kiang, The Playlist)