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An Iranian Masterwork Opens With Its Director Behind Bars

After being arrested for creating antigovernment propaganda in 2010, the Iranian director Jafar Panahi was banned from making films for 20 years.

Since then, he’s made five widely acclaimed features.

His latest, No Bears, opens soon in U.S. theaters while Panahi is in prison.

In July, Panahi went to the Tehran prosecutor’s office to inquire about the arrest of Mohammad Rasoulof, a filmmaker detained in the government’s crackdown on protests.

Panahi himself was arrested and, on a decade-old charge, sentenced to six years in jail.

Panahi’s films, made in Iran without government approval, are sly feats of artistic resistance. He plays himself in meta self-portraitures details ⇒

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