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 girl believing in God marries an atheist, who is consumed by doubt. They decide to spend their honeymoon in India. Searching the countryside for a guru called the "perfect man," who fobs ... See full summary »
On his fortieth birthday, a man engineers a revolt against himself. He telephones his lovers -- all four of them -- and arranges to meet them at his dance school that afternoon. The women ... See full summary »
Consisting of three separate stories, the director explores "Man" as a theme: birth, life and death, to present a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic portrait of life at the bottom of the ... 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 »
In a post-Taliban Afghanistan a young woman (Agheleh Rezaie) attends school against her conservative father's will, hoping to learn more about democracy to fulfill her dream of being the country's next president.
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 »
Mirza Ebrahim Khan, travels past in time to introduce cinematography to the previous king who can afford to pay for the new industry. But Nasser-e-din Shah takes an interest in the actress ... See full summary »
Nafas is a reporter who was born in Afghanistan, but fled with her family to Canada when she was a child. However, her sister wasn't so lucky; she lost her legs to a land mine while young, and when Nafas and her family left the country, her sister was accidentally left behind. Nafas receives a letter from her sister announcing that she's decided to commit suicide during the final eclipse before the dawn of the 21st century; desperate to spare her sister's life, Nafas makes haste to Afghanistan, where she joins a caravan of refugees who, for a variety of reasons, are returning to the war-torn nation. As Nafas searches for her sister, she soon gets a clear and disturbing portrait of the toll the Taliban regime has taken upon its people. Written by
A long strange journey into the past in the present.
This is an extremely beautiful film which inhabits a visual and emotional territory somewhere between Werner Herzog and Pasolini.
As others have stated, the actors are non-professionals and the plot is not the stuff of Hollywood melodrama. However the images and sounds are haunting and profound. Mahkmalbaf is truly a poet of the cinema.
The film does not attempt to make a political analysis of the situation of Afghanistan in 2001, but operates on a more humanistic and emotional level, showing the human consequences, the poverty both material and spiritual of life under the Taliban and the indifference of the outside world.
The "doctor" character, far from being implausible, is played by a real person with a very similar history. He is also a stand-in within the film for Makhmalbaf himself, who started as an Islamic fundamentalist revolutionary but has moved towards a more open-minded humanism.
The film itself describes a circle, the first scene is also the last, the sun shining through a burqa onto a woman's face. Between are unforgettable images, and a transit across a surreal and nightmarish landscape. Surrender yourself and you will really feel you have been on a journey.
The UK DVD also includes "The Afghan Alphabet" a similarly fictionalised documentary on the struggle to bring education to the three million or so Afghan refugees in Iran.
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