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Jafar Panahi 3 Faces review

Disc Reviews

Ladies They Talk About: Panahi Explores Artistic Repression in 3 Faces (2018) | Blu-ray Review

Ladies They Talk About: Panahi Explores Artistic Repression in 3 Faces (2018) | Blu-ray Review

Jafar Panahi won Best Screenplay at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival for 3 Faces, his fourth feature since being banned from filmmaking by the Iranian government. As far as narrative goes, this is also his most complex achievement since the ban, an homage to women’s roles in cinema, and the strenuous cultural constructs which make it nearly impossible for most women to pursue their interests in the medium. Actress Behnaz Jafari outshines Panahi himself in this winding struggle to figure out the potential mystery behind a village girl’s filmed suicide. US Distributor Kino Lorber released the title in March of 2019, however, Panahi’s latest only raked in a little over seventy-two-thousand (which is much less than his Golden Bear winner Taxi, which Kino Lorber released in late 2015 to the tune of three-hundred-thousand plus).

From our 2019 theatrical review:

“While Panahi injects the film with some instances of light humor, 3 Faces is mostly a quiet, arid exercise. And though it skirts around the ostensible desperation of both its filmmaker and its characters, perhaps most importantly it is another instance of tenacity and resiliency in the face of impossible circumstances.”

Disc Review:

Kino Lorber releases 3 Faces in 1.85:1 with 5.1 Surround 2.0 Stereo. Picture and sound quality are serviceable in this latest compromised endeavor from Panahi, which mixes media a bit more seamlessly than his last features made in captivity. The release is sans extra features outside of a booklet interview with Panahi and film historian Jamsheed Akrami.

Film Review: ★★★/☆☆☆☆☆
Disc Review: ★★★/☆☆☆☆☆

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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