The other movies in competition: No Bears / Les miens

NO BEARS (Khers nist)

Iran, 2022. Director Jafar Panahi. With Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiar Panjeei, Mina Kavani, Reza Heydari. Running time 1h 47’

Today is the day of Jafar Panahi. The screening of his movie No Bears (Khers nist) will be opened by a flash mob on the red carpet of Palazzo del Cinema to turn the lights on the dramatic situation many directors are experiencing worldwide. The great Iranian director(Golden Lion in 2000 with Il cerchio Golden Bear in Berlin in 2015 for Taxi Teheran) was arrested in July (along with two other filmmakers, Mohammad Rasoulof e Mostafa Al-Ahmad) by the Iranian government, pleaded guilty and condemned to six months of detention. Panahi is a long-time target of the ayatollah’s regime because of his cinema’s bravery and ethical tension. «There’s a price to pay in Iran if you want to be independent of the government», Panahi said in 2004 in an interview. And the price has been higher and higher for him: in 2010 he was condemned to stay in the country without permission to shoot movies for the following 20 years. He made his next movie in clandestinity and appeared as himself. This Is Not a Film (2011, his journal of home detention), Closed Curtain (2013, directed along with Kambuzia Partovi, Silver Bear in Berlin), Taxi Teheran and Three Faces (2018, best screenplay in Cannes). No Bears analyzes the contradictions and the injustice of Teheran and rural Iran. The film is set in a village near the Turkish border where a director (Panahi) must deal with a problematic relationship with the locals supporting him without making him feel welcome. Meanwhile, political issues and conservative local traditions hinder a couple on the run. No Bears offers a new poetic and critical point of view of an author still ostracized in his country because of his ideas and artistic vision.

Emanuele Bucci


Francia. Director Roschdy Zem. With Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem, Meriem Serbah, Maïwenn, Rachid Bouchareb, Abel Jafrei, Nina Zem. Running Time 85 minuti. Production Why Not Production

What would happen if we said everything we think without any filter? That’s what actor and director Roschdy Zem asked himself, who in Les Miens tells the story of Moussa, a caring and helpful man who, following a head injury, turns instead into the person he has always masked being, causing upheaval within the family. But also unexpected short-circuits.

“I didn’t decide to make this film. It was essential to me,” said Zem, who has a record at this Venice Film Festival of running against himself. Specifically, he is the male lead in Rebecca Zlotowsky’s film The Children of Others, also running for the Golden Lion (and in the same movie Frederick Wiseman, also in competition with his A Couple, makes a cameo. Something that has never happened in the history of the festival, two directors also in competition star in a film in competition).  

“I have never revealed such personal matters in my work before”, Zem continued. “Through this family portrayal, I wanted to share the dramas, conflicts, neuroses, pains and moments of happiness while avoiding the prism of culture or religion, in my view too present when talking about this generation of immigrant origin. Family is a refuge from which you must escape to reveal yourself.

This film is my love story with my people.”

Les Miens is written by Zem and Maiwenn, and the French female director, in this case, also plays a role. The cast includes other well-known names beloved by French audiences, such as Sami Bouajila and Rachid Bouchareb.

Alessandro De Simone

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