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3 Faces – Festival de Cannes In Competition Prospectus

Se Rokh / 3 Faces

Jafar Panahi – Iran

three a


This Iranian film follows three actresses at different stages of their career. One from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, one popular star of today known throughout the country and a young girl longing to attend a drama school. The film begins with the well-known actress Behnaz Jafari abandoning her latest shoot and choosing to go travelling with Panahi, in order to visit the young girl in her rural mountain village. Director Panahi was arrested by the Iranian authorities and banned from making films, but he has continued to work. Still he is unable to leave Iran and still faces a prison sentence which has not been enforced, so he will be unable to attend the festival for the premiere of his latest film. (by Bianca Garner)


“As deceptively simple as its title, which refers to three actresses of times past, present and to come, the no-budget 3 Faces is charming Iranian cinema at its purest. Defiantly modern in its liberating message about freedom of choice, it harks back to the great cinema verité films like Abbas Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us.” – – – – – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“In the eight years since he was arrested by the Iranian government, resulting in a ban from making movies, Panahi has defiantly made four. With 3 Faces, both impulses merge, although his sympathy is focused on the female characters — particularly Behnaz, Marziyeh and a shadowy third individual named Shahrzad, who is a retired actress living in the area. It’s telling that these three women are of different generations, and yet united by the repression and anger they’ve each experienced at the hands of men.” – – – – – Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

“Jafar Panahi has here created a quietly engaging quasi-realist parable, part of his ongoing and unique creative cine-autobiography, full of intelligence and humility and a real respect for women and for female actors. It is gentle, elusive, and redolent of this director’s mysterious Iranian zen.” – – – – – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


Another strong female centric movie here, spreading the aura of solidarity of women, of nations, of dire circumstances right across the festival. There are common threads at Cannes this year, and although its a truly encouraging sign, there is always that murmur that it is not quite enough.

That might well apply to 3 Faces as far as its potential for prizes in the main competition. You have to look at the most talked about, the most influential across critics and audiences. Though not always, sure, like Dheepan. With the absence of yet another filmmaker, Jafar Panahi, this might prove for its appeal to grow stronger.


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