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Trailer Watch: Jafar Panahi’s No Bears

The first trailer has arrived for acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s No Bears, which features the director starring as a version of himself. According to the official synopsis, the film follows “two parallel love stories in which the lovers struggle with hidden and unavoidable obstacles, the force of superstitions and the mechanics of power.” Along with the film’s new trailer, Celluloid Dreams has uploaded two snippets from the film to their YouTube channel: one scene that contextualizes the film’s title, and another that depicts the oft-paradoxical hurdles Panahi faces in continuing his cinematic practice.

A politically defiant and visually vital filmmaker, Panahi’s latest feature arrives shortly after his arrest by the Iranian government, charging him with “propaganda against the system.” The last time Panahi spoke to Filmmaker, he reflected on his then-recent imprisonment, subsequent house arrest and 20-year “ban” on making films, which the director continues to defy.

“In prison, I had some peace of mind because I couldn’t do anything. I was limited to the confines of the prison, but when you’re out and you’re not allowed to work, it’s like you’re in a larger prison. Different conditions and situations, but you still feel that you’re imprisoned because of your inability to work. For a long time, I was part of society and could make socially committed and realistic movies, but now I feel isolated and can’t work the way I used to work.”

No Bears will premiere at Venice before screening at TIFF and the NYFF. It is currently seeking a U.S. distributor.

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