Comedy, suspense, ethnographic exposé and metatextual trickery all come together in this withholding autofictional exploration of Jafar Panahi's real-life circumstances and anxieties as a filmmaker trapped and hounded within the borders of his own country. Denied the freedom to leave Iran, Panahi resides in a small village on the Iranian-Turkish border while he directs a film remotely with those on the other side. Soon governmental authority isn't his only concern as he becomes embroiled in the superstitions of local customs. Shortly after making No Bears, Panahi, along with other dissident filmmakers, was jailed by the Iranian government. He was released in February 2023 within 48 hours of announcing a hunger strike.
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