A girl in traditional female clothing, with her arm in plaster, comes out of school one day and doesn't find her mother meeting her. She decides to travel home herself though she doesn't ... 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.
The movie focuses on one of the events in Zendegi Edame Darad (1992), and explores the relationship between the movie director, and the actors. The local actors play a couple who got ... See full summary »
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz,
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 »
A girl in traditional female clothing, with her arm in plaster, comes out of school one day and doesn't find her mother meeting her. She decides to travel home herself though she doesn't know her address and remembers the road only visually. Written by
This is a film about a girl going home. Apparently her mother failed to pick our little heroine up, and the feisty second grader sets out to find her way through the asphalt jungle all by herself. Well, there's more to it of course. It's the asphalt jungle of Tehran and the film was directed by Jafar Panahi, one of the innovative film makers of the Iranian New Wave. Not that his latest works are allowed to be shown in his home country, mind you. Sentenced to a six-year jail term in 2010 and banned from directing he nevertheless defiantly made an iPhone production called "This Is Not a Film" about his situation and managed to smuggle it out of Iran and tell the world.
The Iranian situation as such is already portrayed firsthand in Panahi's early 1997 film. A representative of the next generation, a child, in the center, we witness its abandonment by the adults. We eavesdrop on them complaining, but not really listening, observe the gender segregation on public transport (albeit through an innocent perspective in between as the missing link), but in a sea of scarves, uniform looks and the all encompassing everyday turmoil one can barely get a glimpse of something one could call "individuality"... In the words of Panahi: Everyone is wearing a mask, plays a role. Thanks to the stark realism present in Iranian movies we become part of the life and the hustle and bustle therein, get sucked in by following the odyssey through a child's eye. And we'll reach a point in the film where a clever twist cranks it all even up a notch. Thus a very real situation turns even more real and it results in a powerful reflection with a double meaning, within the film and outside of it. As in his preceding picture "The White Balloon", also centering on a cast of children, the tone in Panahi's "The Mirror" is light, and the film is entertaining throughout, yet layered and thought-provoking. There's someone who stands up to find a way, lost, but determined, wandering around in need for directions. But there's a fundamental difference between directions and direction, as the viewer might notice. No coincidence either that this someone we're talking about is a girl, the focus of some of Panahi's other works. Or let's say it that way: This is not a film... about a girl going home.
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