I’m Not an Actress [Ali Jalali, Iran, 2019]
Drug addiction in Iran is a subject that rarely sees the light of day on our screens. However, Ali Jalali brings this topic to the forefront in his cleverly constructed short, I’m Not an Actress. At once tragic and challenging, this film is both an empathic look at social issues born out of substance abuse and a razor sharp critique of cinematic voyeurism.
Paradoxically, the acting is notable for its lack of notability. While this initially sounds odd, it has to be said that usually when acting stands out, it’s a bad sign. When the viewer is conscious, sometimes painfully so, that the people they see on screen are characters played by actors rather than actual people, the film loses all its credibility. In I’m Not an Actress, the actors achieve the invisibility required to suspend our disbelief and draw us into the story.