This Is Not a Film

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 41
  2. Negative: 12 out of 41

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User Reviews

  1. Mar 6, 2016
    9
    You're right... this isn't a film. Whatever this is, it's so amazing it can take your heart and break it in a couple of seconds. It could be better though.
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    8
    A late addition to the Cannes 2011 programme after being smuggled into France inside a cake, Iranian director Jafar Panahi's "This is Not a Film" (2011) is by no means your average political documentary. The 75-minute piece, shot partially on an iPhone, captures the day-to-day life of Panahi during a state-imposed house arrest in his Tehran apartment as he appeals a six year prisonA late addition to the Cannes 2011 programme after being smuggled into France inside a cake, Iranian director Jafar Panahi's "This is Not a Film" (2011) is by no means your average political documentary. The 75-minute piece, shot partially on an iPhone, captures the day-to-day life of Panahi during a state-imposed house arrest in his Tehran apartment as he appeals a six year prison sentence and 20 year filmmaking ban for his opposition to the 2011 Iranian elections.

    Here in the Western world, our access to information, democratic governments, and human rights are taken for granted. Panahi and Mirtahmasb are putting their lives on the line to tell the stories they feel they must tell, in the hope that, one day, their nation will be able to have the same sort of pro-democratic freedom as the rest of us. Gripping entertainment. Little by little "This Is Not a Film" leads to a final scene of overwhelming power. Anyone interested in cinema and/or Iran owes it to themselves to become familiar with this "not" film.
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  3. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    I liked this movie because it sets the bar high as far as what it's trying to say. The metaphors here are terrific. The movie is very good, but has a few flaws in my eyes. I'm not a fanatic against foul language, but this movie contains about 50 more F bombs than needed. I think it would have had a better impact if the main character of Pete was a little more "normal" in his cynicalI liked this movie because it sets the bar high as far as what it's trying to say. The metaphors here are terrific. The movie is very good, but has a few flaws in my eyes. I'm not a fanatic against foul language, but this movie contains about 50 more F bombs than needed. I think it would have had a better impact if the main character of Pete was a little more "normal" in his cynical nature. I'm not talking about 'It's A Wonderful Life' normal, but something short of the vile person he is. However, the flick is great in it's depiction of man's frustration with today's society. It asks," what is it all leading up to?" I love how God is depicted. Great acting by Peter Coyote. Very clever. It makes you think about the future of mankind! Expand
  4. Mar 4, 2012
    9
    This defiant piece of work by Pahahi is definitely not a film, it is something unlike any other movie/documentary I've ever seen. It is quite a revolutionary piece of work, being filmed partly on an iPhone, and having no distinct plot of his government could find fault with. While Pahahi does wish he could document his last screenplay before he was banned, that is not the main focus of theThis defiant piece of work by Pahahi is definitely not a film, it is something unlike any other movie/documentary I've ever seen. It is quite a revolutionary piece of work, being filmed partly on an iPhone, and having no distinct plot of his government could find fault with. While Pahahi does wish he could document his last screenplay before he was banned, that is not the main focus of the work. Simply put, the work shows a day in the life of a brilliant filmmaker who is vastly under-appreciated by his own government. Panahi invites you into his home, and more importantly, into the world of his feelings. You can feel his sense of longing, his sense of frustration, his sense of defiance. The work is not all sad either. There are many seemingly normal things that go on as he and his friend document his life that offer some comic relief. This work is testament to how brave the Iranian people are. Panahi and his friend know that if this "not a film" is discovered, then they will be in even bigger trouble, but that does not deter them. The fact that the "not a film" was smuggled out of Iran through a cake speaks volumes to their dedication of secretly rebelling against an unfriendly government. One can only hope that Panahi is freed. Expand

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 3, 2012
    100
    In short, This Is Not a Film is the world within an apartment, and it is quietly devastating.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 14, 2012
    90
    As its title suggests, This Is Not a Film may not be what we're used to in a movie, but in many ways it's much, much more.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 11, 2012
    88
    Little by little, detail by detail, This Is Not a Film leads to a final scene of overwhelming power. I don't think it was even planned - no more than Panahi expected the little actress to take the cast off her arm. It simply happens, and then the film is over, having nothing more to say. Because, after all, it is not a film.