Past Event26 Jul - 31 Jul 2023

No Bears

No longer available

The Civic


“Town people have problems with authorities. We have problems with superstition.”

Thus observes a village elder, who in one breath warns that it is unsafe to walk night paths alone due to danger from bears, then in another proclaims the bears “nonsense” made up to scare the villagers.

Dissident Iranian cine-maestro Jafar Panahi interleaves dual tales of tragic love. We follow the curious adventures of filmmaker “Jafar Panahi” (again playing a version of himself) ensconced in a parochial village, dangerously close to the border, involuntarily drawn into a scandal involving young lovers at odds with archaic local tradition. Concurrently, a beset urban couple seek to escape their political context in the film-within-the-film that Mr Panahi is attempting to direct remotely, in the face of government restrictions and increasingly unstable internet.

View the full NZIFF 2023 programme at

New Zealand International Film Festival

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