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This Is Not a Film: CMA / Falafel Cafe

Again, we have the opportunity to view an Iranian film. The two that some of us saw in February were so unforgettable, I just have to check this one out.

Directed by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb. Master Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. This masterpiece of subversive cinema is one of the year’s most acclaimed and essential films. Cleveland premiere. Iran, 2010, color, subtitles, video, 75 min.

Film admission is $9; CMA members, seniors 65 & over, and students $7; or one CMA Film Series voucher. 

Parking: Available in the attached garage (Current parking fee is $5 after 5:00 p.m.) or along the street.

7:15 MOVIE

Admission to the museum is free. Ask at the front desk where the film will be shown, and we will meetup there before (or after).


Following the movie (around 8:30) we can go to Falafel Cafe, 11365 Euclid Avenue 44106, if we wish to discuss whatever it is we've just seen.

SYNOPSIS: This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence - six years in prison and a 20-year ban from filmmaking - Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking.


A bold artistic statement, a guided career retrospective, a political act, and a mediation on the very nature of cinema - all at once, with neither self-pity or intellectual elitism to muddy the waters.

~Chris Buckle, The Skinny

Against all odds, an unquenchable artist has made yet another piece of powerful art.

~Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

If this is not a film, it is, among other things, a statement of creative resistance in the face of tyranny and a document of intellectual freedom under political duress.

~A.O. Scott, New York Times

The triumph of This Is Not a Film is not only an artistic one -- the very existence of this movie is a gift. No wonder it came to us in a cake.

~Dana Stevens, Slate


The $5.00 yearly fee (or $1.50 for one movie) goes toward charges incurred for using the MeetUp website. You can access PayPal (see link in left hand column) or pay your fee to the Organizer at the event.







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  • Carol P.

    I enjoyed the film. It was interesting to consider the power of the actual film making is to the process of telling a story.

    May 2, 2012

  • George

    Interesting profile of a filmmaker banned by law from making films.

    April 28, 2012

  • Renu

    I am very intrigued by this film and this director …and still trying to make sense of it. Although the filming seemed random, I believe it was a commentary on the role of a film maker, the making of films and, of course, the plight of an artist who is imprisoned and suppressed by the state…but, still figures out a way to express his vision! Lynda—thanks for organizing this. You have me hooked on Iranian directors!

    April 28, 2012

  • Lynda

    Boring in parts ... but overall, my heart goes out to this talented director who, after all, only wants to honestly portray life as he sees it. Iggy the iguana is awesome!! Falafel's service was super!

    April 28, 2012

  • Jims

    A unique premise of a movie. Clever, but not always compelling. Lynda, great pick and thanks for organizing this.

    April 27, 2012

20 went

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