Three Faces, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, written, directed and produced by Jafar Panahi

This is one of those films I watched which I didn’t really enjoy. For some reason I believed it would be cartoonish. I was thinking of something or somebody else. But it was a conventional film. I’m not sure certain why it was called Three Faces? Perhaps three faces of Iran (I’m not sure what they are either).  

I’ll do what I usually do and guess. Two of the Faces would be well known in Iran. Actress Behnaz Jafari plays a version of herself as does film-maker Jafar Panahi. They drive to the rural, Azeri-speaking north west of Iran, where Persian and Turkish is optional.

It’s a step back in time. Jafari and Panahi have left a film set in Teheran (plot) because a young girl Marziyeh Rezaei played by actress Marziyeh Rezaei sent a video message to the former showing her apparent suicide because her family will not allow her to study acting at a drama school in Teheran.

They would lose face and disgrace themselves in the rural village. Their solution is to marry off Marziyeh Rezaei.

Essentially, a road movie involving the medieval concept of the four estates. Ruhollah Khomeini’s clergy have fused with the idea of nobility and taken control of the Iranian state. Commoners, or peasants, in a village with more internet telly than young people, remain largely timeless and idiosyncratic in their patriarchal beliefs.  Jafari and Panahi represent the new and transgressive modern film and media, the four estate, which that overlaps with the others and which Rezaei dreams of joining.  Over her dead body?


misogyny /mĭ-sŏj′ə-nē/


  1. Hatred or mistrust of women.
  2. Hatred of women.
  3. Hatred of women. Contrast misandry.


Gabriel Garcia Marquis Love in the Time of Cholera.

He allowed himself to be swawyed by the conviction that human beings are not born on the day their mother’s give birth to them, but live obliges them again and again to give birth to themselves.


She counted on your compassion. Her phone is switched off.

What if it’s a prank, MrPanahi?

When you want to commit suicide. It’s easy to find a rope and a branch. She thought of everything.

Marihayz has been gone for three days. When she went before. She went to her aunt’s.

My daughter was the most clever. The most gifted. The trouble is she doesn’t know when to shut up. Once she got it into her head to study. I knew it wouldn’t end well. I thought marriage would make her forget. But she imposed her conditions.

No, her family would take everything to save face.

We have a saying in the village: Let a corpse do what it wants and it’ll shit itself.

Who’s Sharzad?

A lady that sang and danced in films before the revolution.

You’re the only one that can help me.

I tried everything.

Couldn’t you have simply asked me?

If I asked you…If I’d told the truth…Would you have come?

The bull. He’s suffering. But it’s not up to you or me to intervene. That’s God’s will. He’s the bull with the golden balls. [stud bull]

She must resent us for not supporting her.

The place is tiny. She’s got nothing in the house. Just her paintings.  And posters of her films.

Ayoub’s foreskin. The gentleman can’t go abroad. He can’t come here (Iran).

It has powers, I tell you.

This is a village. People gossip If he (her brother) knows she’s a Sharzad’s house he’ll burn it down.