“Nothing can prevent me from making films since when being pushed to the ultimate corners I connect with my inner self and, in such private spaces, despite all limitations, the necessity to create becomes even more of an urge. Cinema as an art becomes my main preoccupation. That is the reason why I have to continue making films under any circumstances to pay my respect and feel alive.” —Jafar Panahi

Filmmaker Jafar Panahi (This Is Not A Film; White Balloon) is officially forbidden from making films for 20 years for allegedly making propaganda against his country’s regime, but 3 Faces is the latest exceptional work—his fourth—that he has made, despite the ban.

Panahi and actress Behnaz Jafari travel to rural northwest Iran after receiving a plea for help from a girl whose family forbids her from studying acting in Tehran. Amusing encounters abound, but they soon discover that the local hospitality is rivaled by the desire to protect age-old traditions. The Cannes International Film Festival says, “Panahi understands that it is impossible for everyone to arrive at the same definition of truth, and his message of kindness for people with different perspectives is a timely lesson that bears repetition.”

“This is Jafar Panahi, a filmmaker with more cause than most to feel victimized, turning a deeply respectful, artful and compassionate eye outward, to the struggles of others, and finding such empathy there that the film amounts to a heartfelt statement of solidarity. He is perhaps becoming resigned to his bondage, even as he’s becoming more adept at working around it, but with 3 Faces, the caged Panahi is determined to sing someone else’s song, and in times like these, such generosity of spirit is its own quietly fierce act of cinematic defiance.” —Variety

“Full of intelligence and humility and a real respect for women and for female actors. Gentle, elusive, and redolent of this director’s mysterious Iranian zen.” —The Guardian

“An artful, surprising and thrillingly intelligent story about a few women trying to make a difference.” —Los Angeles Times

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Jafar Panahi
Farsi and Turkish with English subtitles
Running Time
100 minutes
DCP, Color