Taxi is the third feature that Jafar Panahi has made in semi-secrecy since the Iranian government banned him from directing in 2010. That context is crucial to the movie, in which Panahi, playing a fictionalized version of himself, works as a cab driver in Tehran to make ends meet. References to his situation resonate throughout Taxi: one passenger lectures Panahi on the censorhip rules in Iran, and another calls to mind the person who interrogated him when he first got in trouble with the government. Yet the film is not just about the director’s misfortune; conversations overheard in Panahi’s cab make contemporary Iran seem bad for everyone. One passenger frets that the law will give her inheritance over to her brothers-in-law despite her husband’s wishes, while another, an activist lawyer, has been disbarred because of her political views. Widespread poverty is a frequent topic of discussion. Continue reading >>