3 Faces

In Jafar Panahi's latest film, actress Behnaz Jafari is distraught when she comes across a young girl's video plea for help after her family prevents her from taking up studies at the Tehran drama conservatory.
May 2019
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3 Faces

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Director: Jafar Panahi


2018, Iran, 100 minutes, Digital, NR

Language: Farsi with English Subtitles

Distributor: Kino Lorber

Program Notes

Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s fourth completed feature since he was officially banned from filmmaking is one of his very best. Panahi begins with a smartphone video shot by a young woman (Marziyeh Rezaei) who announces to the camera that her parents have forbidden her from realizing her dream of acting and then, by all appearances, takes her own life. The recipient of the video, actress Behnaz Jafari, as herself, asks Panahi, as himself, to drive her to the woman’s tiny home village near the Turkish border to investigate. From there, 3 Faces builds in narrative, thematic, and visual intricacy to put forth a grand expression of community and solidarity under the eye of oppression.


Cannes Film Festival
Winner of the award for Best Screenplay

Toronto International Film Festival

New York Film Festival

Critics' Praise

Critic’s Pick: “An immersive, pleasurably intelligent movie, one that weds documentary naturalism and melodramatic excess with formalist rigor.”
— Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“An artful, surprising and thrillingly intelligent story about a few women trying to make a difference… 3 Faces may be modest and low-key on the surface, but its surprises are worth preserving, its insights casually profound”
— Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“A heartfelt statement of solidarity… such generosity of spirit is its own quietly fierce act of cinematic defiance.”
— Jessica Kiang, Variety

“An urgent mystery. Panahi’s sympathies are clear, but his humanity is boundless.”
— Scott Tobias, NPR

“Unquestioned patriarchal tradition and desperate responses to its oppressive power are dramatized in the Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s sly and defiant metafictional road movie.”
— Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Charming Iranian cinema at its purest. Defiantly modern in its liberating message.”
— Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

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