Skip to main content


Iran, 2000 (MIFF 2006, Jafar Panahi: Filmmaker in Focus)

Director: Jafar Panahi

The Circle was a multiple award-winner at the Venice Film Festival in 2000.

A tour de force, The Circle depicts the plight of several Iranian women oppressed solely for being born female in a male-dominant society. In displaying the struggle of these women, filmmaker Jafar Panahi's harrowing tale was banned from screens in Iran for its supposed dissident content.

The women of The Circle are interchangeable - three newly released from prison, another who abandons her daughter to strangers and a prostitute arrested for being found in a car with an unknown man. These women, each in very different situations, are linked not through an interweaving story but through the similar struggles they face in being alone in Iran without a male to vouch for them.

Each woman is suffering from the same battle as the next, says Panahi when explaining the relevance of the title: “(It's) as if each woman could replace another in a circle, making them all the same.”

With this stark simplicity, The Circle makes a profound and lasting statement.

Jafar Panahi is a guest of the festival and wil introduce the sesion on Sunday 30 July, 1pm at RMIT Capitol Theatre.

D Jafar Panahi P Mohammad Atebbai, Morteza Motevali S Kambozia Partovi Dist NewVision L Farsi w/English subtitles
TD 35mm/2000/87mins

See also...


Crimson Gold was selected as the Closing Night film of Un Certain Regard and winner of the Jury Award, Un Certain Regard, at the Cannes Film Festival. ... An intimate and absorbing drama, Crimson ... More »


“One of the most powerful films to have emerged from Iran this decade.” - Toronto International Film Festival A little girl's journey through the streets of Tehran turns into a dazzling ... More »


Offside was the winner of the Silver Bear award at this year's Berlin Film Festival. ... For almost three decades, Iranian soccer players have been cheered almost exclusively by men. Female fans ... More »


Winner of the Camera D'or at the Cannes Film Festival, Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon is the story of a young Iranian girl's trip to the market - a simple undertaking that becomes unexpectedly ... More »


In this shocking, politically courageous look at the other' Iran, the plight of women is wilfully, sometimes furiously forced into plain sight. Director Jafar Panahi's narrative delicately drifts ... More »


Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Award at Cannes this year, Jafar Panahi's (The Circle, MIFF 2001) new film is a intimate and absorbing drama. Based on true events, told to Panahi by Abbas ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director