Stranger Says: Dissident director Jafar Panahi has been persecuted and jailed in Iran, and banned from making films or traveling abroad. Since then, he has produced several unauthorized films, sometimes having to smuggle them out of the country. In 3 Faces, he stars with actress Behnaz Jafari, each playing a version of themselves in this fictional story that finds them lured to a rural village after receiving a disturbing video from a young woman. The film is shot in Panahi’s neorealist style, with long, meditative scenes of everyday interactions and naturalist dialogue. But throughout, the themes of how Iranian culture sees “entertainers,” the subjugation and harassment of women, and the hardships and persistence of the old ways of thinking are revealed. The film won an award for best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)
SIFF Says: Internationally renowned filmmaker Jafar Panahi (THE WHITE BALLOON) co-stars in this richly layered metafiction as he and a famous TV star go on a road trip to save the life of an aspiring actress desperate to escape her provincial life.