“I don’t speak a word of Farsi, yet I can’t think of a movie I’ve seen anywhere over the past year that speaks to me as directly or as powerfully. I certainly haven’t seen any shot as breathtakingly beautiful or as dramatically satisfying as the long take of the prostitute (Mojhan Faramarzi) sitting alone in the police van after a male prisoner has successfully offered cigarettes to the two cops riding in front, one of whom had previously told her to put out the cigarette she was starting to light. Taking a furtive glance around, and realizing that she can finally light her cigarette in peace because no one will stop her or even notice, she looks out the dark window and takes a drag while the night rolls past.
I think it matters that Panahi, I, and many others have a film and certain emotions about it in common – even though we don’t share a country, a government, a language, a set of laws, a definition of politics, or even the same treatment at the hands of U.S. customs officials. At a time when many Americans are acting as if this country were the only one that truly existed or mattered, that’s a meaningful place to start.”
From ‘Nobody Here But Us’ by Jonathan Rosenbaum, read the full article here.