Closed Curtain (2013): Jafar Panahi’s Mysterious Kafkaesque Tale

Jafar Panahi’s most latest film, Closed Curtain, which was made in secrecy and combines elements of documentary and fiction, seems to be inspired by Kafka, Freud, and Pirandello.

The tale centers on a screenwriter, who goes into hiding with his dog after the regime declares dogs to be “impure,” and bans them from walking in public.

The man shaves his head, darkens all the windows in his three-story seaside villa (Panahi’s actual beach house), and begins writing in the company of his beloved pet.

Then, unexpectedly, a young man and woman appear, seemingly in a state of fear and confusion, and he is importuned to take them in.

A Pirandello-inspired drama unfolds as Panahi himself shows up (playing himself), acting out his dark and melancholy fantasies as both neighbors and strangers appear and disappear mysteriously.

The movie won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.