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The Runner (1984)
"Davandeh" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1984 (Iran)
8.0
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Amiro is a young boy who has lost his home during the war. He spends his days by working odd jobs, until he realizes that the only way that he can realize his dreams is by enrolling in ... See full summary »

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Title: The Runner (1984)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Abbas Nazeri
Majid Niroumand ...
Amiro
Musa Torkizadeh
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Storyline

Amiro is a young boy who has lost his home during the war. He spends his days by working odd jobs, until he realizes that the only way that he can realize his dreams is by enrolling in school. In school, he has conflict with other students. Finally there is a competition to see who can say the whole alphabet in one breath. Written by Sam Tabibnia <samtab@uclink.berkeley.edu>

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Drama

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1984 (Iran)  »

Also Known As:

Der Läufer  »

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Referenced in Nassereddin Shah, Actor-e Cinema (1992) See more »

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uncompromising in its honesty
31 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If it's true that environment determines character then young Amiro must be something of a hero for having survived so well against such overwhelming odds. Orphaned and illiterate, he wanders the desolate waterfront of a nameless Iranian city, living each day on whatever loose change he can honestly acquire: selling ice water, shining shoes, or foraging for empty bottles at low tide (while oil-laden tankers line the distant horizon).

But the poverty of his surroundings can't dim the dignity of his spirit, in much the same way that the unflinching honesty of the film helps to give it an often exhilarating power. What passes for a storyline is closer in spirit to a cultural documentary, pieced together from several swift, abbreviated episodes leading to the final, profound image of Amiro exultant, holding aloft a large block of ice (the goal of one of his many running 'competitions') while the controlled fires of a nearby oil field rage in the background.

Director Amir Nader was fortunate to cast in the title role a young boy whose face betrays every emotion, from exuberance to heartbreak, and communicates his thoughts independent of the sometimes illegible English subtitles. In its own quiet way it's a stunning film, and a rare, rewarding glimpse of daily life in a little understood part of the world.


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