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The White Balloon (1995)
"Badkonake sefid" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Family  |  27 November 1995 (Spain)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,269 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 22 critic

Several people try to take advantage of a little girl's innocence to hustle money her mom gave to her to buy a goldfish with.

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, (original idea), 1 more credit »
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Title: The White Balloon (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aida Mohammadkhani ...
Razieh
Mohsen Kafili ...
Ali
Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy ...
Mother
Anna Borkowska ...
Old Lady
Mohammad Shahani ...
Soldier
Mohammed Bakhtiar ...
Tailor
Aliasghar Smadi ...
Balloon Seller
Hamidreza Tahery ...
Reza
Asghar Barzegar ...
Pet Shop Manager
Hasan Neamatolahi ...
Snake Charmer
Bosnali Bahary ...
Snake Charmer
Mohammadreza Baryar ...
Client in Tailor's Shop
Shaker Hayely ...
Tailor's Assistant
Homayoon Rokani ...
Street Singer / Dancer
Mohammad Farakani ...
Shop Keeper
Edit

Storyline

Razieh wants a fat goldfish for the Iranian New Years celebration instead of the skinny ones in her family's pond at home, because the fat fish looks like it's dancing when it swims. After many attempts she and her brother convince their mother to give them her last bit of money. Between their home and the fish store, Razieh loses the money.. She finds it, but it is temptingly just out of her reach. Written by Rudi Sahebi <rsahebi@voyager.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1995 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

The White Balloon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$474,047 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film unfolds in real time. See more »

Quotes

Shop Owner: Why did you make me come if you could do it yourselves?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sodankylä Forever: Valon draama (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

The Adventures of Innocence
26 April 2000 | by (Newark, DE) – See all my reviews

In his directorial debut, Jafar Panahi - a devoted pupil of Iranian film-god Abbas Kiarostami - is able to encapsulate the stubbornness and curiosity of a seven-year-old Tehranian girl so authentically (by use of newcomer Aida Mohammadkhani) that we forget that we are watching fiction unfold.

The White Balloon has a continuous feel that is obtained by allowing the story to unravel in real time. An unseen radio informs us that the Iranian New Year is almost upon the town; a tradition for this annual event is to either catch or buy a fish (fish represent life). Razieh, the little girl, is unsatisfied with the selection of fish in the family's pond. She complains that the family's fish are too "skinny." Eventually, Razieh's brother, Ali (Mohsen Kalifi's only role thus far), cons their mother into letting Razieh have a 500 note (Iranian money) to buy the fish that she wants. On her way to the market, Razieh loses the money two times. It is the second loss that is the most serious - the money falls into the cellar of a closed shop through a sidewalk drain. The remainder of the film is devoted to the introduction of various strangers offering either to help retrieve the note or pass the time with light-humored conversation.

Beautiful cinematography (winner of the Camera d'or at Cannes in 1994), memorable characters, and stunning direction backed by Kiarostami's expertly written script make for a great film that was reminiscent of my viewing of John Sayles' Secret of Roan Inish. Like Sayles' film, there is a magical, absorbing quality to The White Balloon that spellbinds the viewer regardless of age.


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