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 »
Nogreh is a young Afghani woman living with her father and her sister-in-law, Leylomah, whose husband, Akhtar, is missing. Beyond the issue of Akhtar, Leylomah is most concerned with how to... See full summary »
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 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.
A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can ... See full summary »
Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Roushan Karam Elmi
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 »
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 »
The star-spangled night sky is accompanied by an unimaginable cold. Despite the twenty degrees below freezing I step outside, urged by an irresistible impulse. And I'm already crossing the mountains, driving on a hardened surface of snow. The next cinema is twenty miles away, and tonight it offers a special alternative program. I go inside and suddenly something magic happens: The cold outside world is forgotten, and instead I feel inundated by the warmth and the inspiration of the recent Iranian cinema. I watch "Sib" ("The Apple"), the first movie of 18-year-old Samira Makhmalbaf. It's a semi-documentary, a film about an authentic social case, in which the protagonists portray themselves: A father, a 65-year-old beggar, and a blind mother keep their twin daughters shut in their house for more than eleven years. They are denounced by their neighbors, and a social worker steps in to tell the parents what they have to do. But she has to combat the stubbornness of the father who claims that his daughters are like flowers, and if you let them go out into the sun they will fade and eventually perish.
Precisely the opposite happens: Once liberated, the girls, who at the beginning are unable to coordinate their movements and whose rare attempts of speech are mostly inaudible or incomprehensible, not only start to discover the world but also slowly begin to blossom out. Beams of light are illuminating their eyes as they find new friends and learn how to communicate. In the end they even succeed in sweeping away the barriers of ignorance of their father and lead him on the way to a brighter future.
It is stunning to watch an almost complete transformation like this taking place. The change is both physical and spiritual, and it is a step towards a better world. This movie is a weapon against the void, a remedy for all kinds of hopelessness: it fills you, it enlightens you, it dispels the dark shadows of your life.
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