This Is Not a Film (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

This Is Not a Film2012

This Is Not a Film (2012)



Critic Consensus: Through simple means and filming, This is Not a Film presents a vital political statement and a snapshot of life in Iran as enemy of the state.

This Is Not a Film Photos

Movie Info

This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence - six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking - Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking. -- (C) Palisades Tartan

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Jafar Panahi
as Jafar Panahi
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
as Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

News & Interviews for This Is Not a Film

Critic Reviews for This Is Not a Film

All Critics (101) | Top Critics (39)

Melancholy as it is, This Is Not A Film is no pity party. It evokes ennui and anxiety without ever being boring itself.

February 21, 2018 | Full Review…

This film is unique in a dreadful way: what happens on screen would not be particularly interesting without the facts surrounding its making.

June 18, 2013 | Full Review…

No matter the constrictions on its existence, This is Not a Film is, in fact, a great one.

January 7, 2013 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

Not a conventional film, certainly, but a powerful and important statement.

January 7, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There is courage and cheekiness here. What there is not is a story, or much insight or even anger; anyone expecting an indictment of Iran will be sorely disappointed.

January 7, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Truly and defiantly extraordinary in its own quiet way.

January 7, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for This Is Not a Film


Under house arrest, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi creates a powerful humanist manifesto against censorship and lack of freedom of speech in his country. Full review on filmotrope. com

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


The mere premise of "This is Not a Film" is extraordinary. Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years of a suspended jail sentence and banned from making any films for twenty years. In a pure form of protest Panahi had a cameraman film his life, while he was stuck in his home trying to fight this extreme form of censorship, and still having a pure nationalistic love for his country. Without that information watching the film seems a bit dull. Panahi eats breakfast, talks to his attorney, and watches some of his films, while feeding his iguana. In the midst of these mundane activities, Panahi almost loses his cameraman at a checkpoint, Iran's fires burn in the streets, and his family has left. It's tense throughout, scary even, and though he is not allowed to film anything, he takes up a camera, a clear violation of the terms of his suspended sentence and ban. Though nothing really happens in this film, everything happens in this film. To even get it to Cannes, Panahi put the film on a flash drive, baked in a cake, and sent it through customs. If there's any true form of protest to the film, it's that, which makes Panahi's actions that much more impressive and inspiring. This is a film to watch in order to understand the complexities of Iran's forms of censorships, and to understand the real life turmoil of Panahi.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

This Is Not a Film, is a scream of help.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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