NO BEARS — A Defiant, Experimental Look At Filmmaking In Iran

Overview by Tatiana Miranda

​At first glance, No Bears seems to be just one of the numerous motion pictures to appear out of 2022 that focuses on filmmaking, together with The Fabelmans and Babylon. But No Bears is distinctive in numerous ways, predominantly concerning the context bordering the film’s creating and area. Part documentary and aspect fiction, No Bears is centered all-around an Iranian director, “Jafar Panahi,” who is portrayed by the real-everyday living director of the film, Jafar Panahi. 

While the film is heavily fictionalized, Panahi’s actual-environment influences are clear during. Owning been banned from filmmaking in 2010 by the Iranian govt, Panahi applies this battle to his movie as this character attempts to make a movie in Turkey without the need of getting capable to depart Iran. Filled with slapstick-fashion scenes of Panahi trying to video-contact his assistant in Turkey as his world-wide-web relationship continues to go in and out, Panahi is in a position to blend drama and comedy in buy to spotlight the surrealist character of the position he is in. 

Outside of its humorous times, No Bears is anxiety-inducing. Panahi’s true-existence urgency and secretive type of filmmaking are reflected on monitor as his character resides in the vicinity of the border of Iran and Turkey, slyly performing on his upcoming movie. Via the character’s actions, those of the people in just his film, and the actual Panahi’s working experience, the audience watches as each individual bargains with their thoughts of becoming trapped. 

Panahi, the character, frequents the border and contemplates fleeing to Turkey. The characters in his film, Bakhtiar and Zara, are shown making an attempt to obtain passports in order to go away and go to Europe, a storyline which is also portrayed to be impressed by the actors’ ordeals. And lastly, Panahi, the director, involves his individual limits through easy but poignant directorial decisions. 

Even the film’s title harps back again to the overarching issue of borders and what lies further than them. In a dialogue involving Panahi and his landlord Ghanbar, they talk about the town’s superstitious beliefs about bears that hold persons from crossing the border. In response to Panahi’s dilemma about the bears, Ghanbar disproves this idea and states a line encapsulating the film’s central thesis: “Our anxiety empowers some others. No Bears!” 

Unlike its Western counterparts telling the history and creativeness of filmmaking, No Bears tackles the dialogue of the limits many have to deal with when it comes to censorship and authoritarian governments. Even devoid of the context of Panahi’s present imprisonment and numerous operate-ins with the legislation, No Bears is a defiant representation of Panahi’s passion for filmmaking and the realities he has dealt with while seeking to hone his craft. 

No Bears is now enjoying in theaters.

Ranking: 3/5