Director’s Chair Introduction: Jafar Panahi and Marjane Satrapi

by Tony Cogan · October 31, 2016 · Director's Chair · 1 Comment

Send Entries By: 26th November 2016

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Hello everyone, it’s once again time to announce the directors that will be featured for the Director’s Chair feature and this month, we’ll be doing another month of highlighting non-English/American directors. This month, we’ll be highlighting two directors from Iran, directors who both, in different ways, represent the nature of the Iranian government following the 1979 Revolution, those directors being Marjane Satrapi and Jafar Panahi.

For Marjane Satrapi, most of her life story can be seen in her film/book Persepolis, her being someone who grew up during the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, having members of her family executed by the state. Her family later sent her to Austria for her own safety due to her nature going against the restrictive attitudes towards women the Iranian state possessed. She later returned to Iran and obtained a Masters degree before moving away to France. Again, if you want a better picture of her life I highly recommend you see Persepolis. After the success she had with the film adaptation of Persepolis, she moved into directing full time, doing a live action adaptation of another one of her books before making her leap to America with her film The Voices.

Jafar Panahi meanwhile is a very unique case. Original a pioneering member of the Iranian New Wave after working with another pioneering Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, he has made a number of films which have explored everyday life in Iran, often focusing on children and women, with his films both pushing the way in which films are presented (most notably with The Mirror) and being banned by the Iranian government precisely because he focuses on the lives of women. His story takes an interesting turn in 2010 though when he was arrested for crimes against the state during production of a film about the Green Revolution. After an outcry from the film community and even President Obama, Panahi was released under house arrest but given a 20 year ban on making films. Panahi has made 3 films since that ban was imposed, one of which was even filmed on the streets of Tehran, creating a real fear that he will be arrested at any moment.

With that out of the way, here are the films that you can cover, in any style that you want.

Marjane Satrapi:

  • Persepolis
  • Chicken With Plums
  • The Voices

Jafar Panahi:

  • The White Balloon
  • The Mirror
  • The Circle
  • Crimson Gold
  • Offside
  • This Is Not A Film
  • Closed Curtain
  • Taxi Tehran

I look forward to reading your posts.