The Apple (1998)
"Sib" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  19 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,659 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 18 critic

After twelve years of imprisonment by their own parents, two sisters are finally released by social workers to face the outside world for the first time.



, (as Samireh Makhmalbaf)
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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Massoumeh Naderi ...
Zahra Naderi ...
Ghorban Ali Naderi ...
Azizeh Mohamadi ...
Zahra Saghrisaz


After twelve years of imprisonment by their own parents, two sisters are finally released by social workers to face the outside world for the first time.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Apple  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,207 (USA) (19 February 1999)


$116,758 (USA) (25 June 1999)

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Samira Makhmalbaf makes her directorial debut at the tender age of just 17. She is not however the youngest director on record - that accolade belongs to Sydney Ling who was just 13 when he made Lex, the Wonder Dog (1973). See more »


References Poto and Cabengo (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

From Darkness to Light
9 March 2000 | by (Ore Mountains, Germany) – See all my reviews

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.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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