The Film Comment Podcast: Mina Kavani on Jafar Panahi’s No Bears
Today’s podcast is about one of 2022’s late but great entries: No Bears, the latest meta-fictional masterwork from Jafar Panahi. In the film, Panahi plays a slightly fictionalized version of himself, as a controversial filmmaker holed up in an Iranian border-village, trying to evade the surveillance of the authorities while remotely directing a film set in nearby Turkey. What starts as a seemingly gentle satire becomes a timely reckoning with the moral dilemmas faced by people—especially women—living under a patriarchal and dictatorial regime.
Though Panahi tragically remains imprisoned in Tehran since his arrest last July, FC editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute were glad to be able to speak to the film’s lead actress, Mina Kavani, about her riveting performance as an Iranian exile in Turkey. They discussed Kavani’s own experiences of living in exile, what it was like to work with Panahi, and the women-led movement that continues to reverberate throughout Iran.