Manuscripts Don't Burn

Manuscripts Don't Burn Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: Clandestinely produced in disavowal of a 20-year filmmaking ban passed down by the Iranian authorities, the scathing Manuscripts Don’t Burn brings a whole new level of clarity and audacity to Mohommad Rasoulof’s already laudable career. Drawing from the true story of the government’sClandestinely produced in disavowal of a 20-year filmmaking ban passed down by the Iranian authorities, the scathing Manuscripts Don’t Burn brings a whole new level of clarity and audacity to Mohommad Rasoulof’s already laudable career. Drawing from the true story of the government’s attempted 1995 murder of several prominent writers and intellectuals, Rasoulof imagines a repressive regime so pervasive that even the morally righteous are subsumed or cast aside. A lacerating and slow-burning thriller filmed in a frigid palate of blues and greys, Manuscripts Don’t Burn is perhaps the most subversive and incendiary j’accuse lodged against an authoritarian regime since the fall of the Soviet Union. [Kino Lorber] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 12, 2014
    100
    Rather than relish in the stark proceedings, Manuscripts Don't Burn preys on its viewers' imagination, leaving several deaths and other dreary outcomes off-screen. In the unbearable tension of its final moments, the movie arrives at an expected destination, but the outcome stings more than anything preceding it.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Aug 21, 2014
    100
    The government, even under the new, more moderate leadership of President Hassan Rouhani, has reason for concern. Unlike Rasoulof and Panahi’s previous, more metaphorical films, this one confronts its subject head-on with unflinching candor.
  3. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Oct 26, 2015
    100
    Putting aside the worthiness of its politics, this is also a crackling, tense thriller, graced with beautifully measured performances, that explores with wisdom and sorrow the best and worst in human nature.
  4. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Jun 13, 2014
    88
    Easily the most daring and politically provocative film yet to emerge from Iran.
  5. Reviewed by: Simon Kinnear
    Dec 14, 2014
    80
    The initially cryptic plotting and low-key realism are familiar from Iranian dramas; what’s striking is how Rasoulof shifts into such a lucid, gut-punching tale of persecution. The film’s flaws are forgivable; its very existence should be applauded.
  6. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Jun 12, 2014
    80
    A brave, challenging picture that makes the viewer complicit in the action, it is also perhaps the first film since the declaration of the Islamic Republic to confront so directly the brutality of the feared security apparatus.
  7. Reviewed by: Sam Fragoso
    Jun 11, 2014
    50
    Rasoulof’s dissident return to filmmaking is ultimately little more than a sporadically searing, though more often unfocused and listless treatise on the pervasive censorship enforced by the autocratic Iranian government.

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