Mohammad, a boy at Tehran's institute for the blind, waits for his dad to pick him up for summer vacation. While waiting, he realizes a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases away a ... See full summary »
A man is living with his only daughter and does everything he can for a living and for his daughter s sake hoping she is his forever. But a misunderstanding makes everything really complicated for him.
A small African village. The story focuses on Bila, a ten year old boy who befriends an old woman, Sana. Everybody calls her 'Witch' but Bila himself calls her 'Yaaba' (grandmother). When ... See full summary »
In rural Sweden of the early 1950s, little Elina goes to school again after recovering from tuberculosis, the same illness that has killed her father a few years earlier. Elina's family ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
You're whining again!
Mom refuses to give me money for the goldfish.
Don't you like ours?
You call these goldfish, you haven't seen the others. It's as though they're dancing when they move their fins. And they've got so many fins.
The shopkeeper said 100 tomans.
100 tomans! You want to pay 100 tomans for a goldfish. You can watch two films with that money. You're nuts.
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Abbas Kiarostami wrote this film, which is very much like his 1987 masterpiece, Where Is the Friend's Home? That film had a young boy trying to give back some other boy's homework that he accidentally took home. This one has a little girl having all kinds of problems trying to buy a goldfish on New Year's Eve. Each of these children have to navigate their way through a world of adults in a culture where the young are to be seen, but not heard. The earlier film is quite a bit better than The White Balloon, but this is a wonderful film in its own right. It has a wonderful set piece where a street performer thinks that the girl is donating the money she has for her goldfish to a snake charmer. She has to work up the courage to speak up for herself, and then to take the money when it has been wrapped around a snake. My only real problem with the film was the lead performance, by Aida Mohammadkhani. She has really nice facial expressions, but her voice and line delivery are monotonous; truth be told, she gets kind of obnoxious after a while. Mohsen Kalifi, who plays her older brother, is wonderful, on the other hand. I really liked the way the sibling relationship was developed. Kiarostami, genius that he is, adds some small details that give the film a much deeper resonance than one might find at first glance (I'd almost call this a trademark of his). The sequence with the titular balloon, along with the haunting final shot, is the kind of thing that could make this film last forever inside of me.
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