A movie shot almost completely inside a tax from a dashboard mounted camera? Ah, but this is not any ordinary taxi, and the driver is no ordinary taxi-driver (indeed, he’s not a taxi-driver at all). Instead, he is the Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi, who in 2010 was placed under house arrest and banned from making films for twenty years by the Iranian authorities.
He drives his car as a taxi, people get in and people get out. One is his niece (who actually accepted the award for this film at the Berlin International Film Festival on her uncle’s behalf) but the others are unnamed, amateur actors. The car door opens and shuts, as people enter and leave the taxi. A petty thief, an undercover video seller, a teacher, a lawyer, two women with goldfish, a couple injured in a motorcycle accident all share the taxi, sometimes interacting with each other, other times staring out the window. I stared out the window too, fascinated by glimpses of Tehran through the windows- such a European city, with sealed roads, traffic lights, tunnels- all the infrastructure of a modern city.
But gradually things are not as they seem. I won’t say more. If there’s any chance of catching it- do. (It’s on at ACMI in Melbourne at the moment.) Very, very good- 4.5 stars