Close-Up is the true story of Hossain Sabzian, a poor, underemployed, divorced, father of two. He is obsessed with the cinema. In 1989, Sabzian convinced the Ahankhah family that he was Iranian filmmaker Moshen Makhmalbaf (The Silence) and that he would cast them in his next film. Eventually, the family caught on to the ruse and contacted the authorities, leading to Sabzian's arrest. A journalist wrote a column about the incident that Kiarostami read. The director quickly put together a crew and set about to film the trial as well as restage previous events, but with a twist: Sabzian, the Ahankhahs, and the others involved played themselves. Thus, the film is an amalgamation of documentary and drama that questions the very nature and purpose of film, forces audiences to contemplate the basic experience of moviegoing, and in the process redefined how Iranian cinema saw itself.