Sideshow and Janus Films have unveiled a new U.S. trailer for No Bears — the ninth feature from acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (Taxi, The Circle), which will open at the Film Forum in New York this Friday, December 23 before debuting at the Laemmle Royale in Los Angeles on January 13.
In No Bears, as in many of his recent works, Panahi plays a fictionalized version of himself. He in this case relocates to a rural border town to remotely direct a new film in nearby Turkey, the story of which comes to sharply mirror disturbing events that begin to occur around him. As he struggles to complete his film, Panahi finds himself thrust in the middle of a local scandal, confronting the opposing pulls of tradition and progress, city and country, belief and evidence, and the universal desire to reject oppression.
While Panahi’s critically acclaimed feature world premiered at the 79th Venice Film Festival, where it claimed the Special Jury Prize, the filmmaker wasn’t in attendance, having over the summer been arrested in Iran and sentenced to six years in prison. This came following multiple public criticisms of his native country’s government — including of its arrests of his fellow filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa al-Ahmad — and wasn’t the director’s first encounter of the sort with the law, given his arrest in 2010 on charges of dispersing anti-government propaganda.
Written, directed and produced by Pinahi, No Bears also stars Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiar Panjei, Mina Kavani, Narjes Dalaram and Reza Heydari. Watch the film’s trailer by clicking above.