Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war. Said falls in with a ... See full summary »
In a post-Taliban Afghanistan a young woman (Agheleh Rezaie) attends school against her conservative father's will, hoping to learn more about democracy to fulfill her dream of being the country's next president.
A semi-autobiographical account of Makmahlbaf's experience as a teenager when, as a 17-year-old, he stabbed a policeman at a protest rally. Two decades later, he tracks down the policeman he injured in an attempt to make amends.
The story starts with a childish play of a brother and sister, then continues in huge developments. Through passing too many difficult barriers, these lovely children, reach the peak of perfection. Niaz grows like a grain and blossoms.
Gol Khatoon Shabanin
An elderly couple go about their routine of cleaning their gabbeh (a intricately-designed rug), while bickering gently with each other. Magically, a young woman appears, helping the two ... See full summary »
The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill. He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit... See full summary »
A young girl zealously wants to go to school and learn to read and write. Almost everywhere she is met with hostility or indifference. The only young boy who takes her to his school is ... See full summary »
Mehrollah is a 14-year-old boy who is forced to find a job to support his family after his father dies. He travels to the southern parts of Iran, looking for work. Upon his return to his hometown, he notices certain changes in his family.
Makhmalbaf puts an advertisement in the papers calling for an open casting for his next movie. However when hundreds of people show up, he decides to make a movie about the casting and the ... See full summary »
A powerfully subtle, highly intelligent and compassionate film, visually stunning.
I can't add much to the review by Bob the Moo from Birmingham, who pretty much sums up the strengths of this film. However, as an illustration of the skill of the film-maker I would like to mention one scene that stands out in my memory, not in detail so as not to 'spoil', where a sense of incipient menace is subtly hinted at - one is almost expecting something horrible to go wrong to prove that it was right to keep the girls imprisoned for their own safety and this looks like being the moment when it happens; one hardly dares hope that it will have a happy and positive outcome - but it doesn't. It turns out there is nothing to worry about at all. This sounds like a non-event, but I found the subtlety with which this point was made quite outstanding.
The film is a pure delight, more powerful than any heavy diatribe against repressive regimes. The compassion with which all participants are presented in their own contexts, particularly the father who could have been demonised but isn't, is also outstanding. No judgements are made, and the lessons are all the more clear and convincing for that.
This is a film that stands out in my mind, both visually and symbolically, as clearly today as when I saw it several years ago.
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