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The White Balloon (1995)

Badkonake sefid (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Family | 1995 (Iran)
Several people try to help a little girl to find the money her mom gave her to buy a goldfish with.

Director:

Jafar Panahi

Writers:

Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi (original idea) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aida Mohammadkhani Aida Mohammadkhani ... Razieh
Mohsen Kafili Mohsen Kafili ... Ali
Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy ... Mother
Anna Borkowska Anna Borkowska ... Old Lady
Mohammad Shahani Mohammad Shahani ... Soldier
Mohammed Bakhtiar Mohammed Bakhtiar ... Tailor
Aliasghar Smadi Aliasghar Smadi ... Balloon Seller
Hamidreza Tahery Hamidreza Tahery ... Reza
Asghar Barzegar Asghar Barzegar ... Pet Shop Manager
Hasan Neamatolahi Hasan Neamatolahi ... Snake Charmer
Bosnali Bahary Bosnali Bahary ... Snake Charmer
Mohammadreza Baryar Mohammadreza Baryar ... Client in Tailor's Shop
Shaker Hayely Shaker Hayely ... Tailor's Assistant
Homayoon Rokani Homayoon Rokani ... Street Singer / Dancer
Mohammad Farakani Mohammad Farakani ... Shop Keeper
Edit

Storyline

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 <rsahebi@voyager.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

sourehcinema

Country:

Iran

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

1995 (Iran) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Balloon See more »

Filming Locations:

Kashan, Iran

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$474,047
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Iran for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 68th Academy Awards in 1996. See more »

Quotes

Ali: You're whining again!
Razieh: Mom refuses to give me money for the goldfish.
Ali: Don't you like ours?
Razieh: 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.
Ali: How much?
Razieh: The shopkeeper said 100 tomans.
Ali: 100 tomans! You want to pay 100 tomans for a goldfish. You can watch two films with that money. You're nuts.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sodankylä ikuisesti: Valon draama (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deceptive on Multiple Levels
17 November 2010 | by p_radulescuSee all my reviews

I watched this movie totally by surprise. I found out just one hour before that it was scheduled on TV.

It started slowly, maybe too slowly, or maybe too arid, for my taste, to become suddenly so cute, and not only cute, everything on the screen was real time, I was following breathlessly the adventures of the little girl, to find out, exactly at the end, that the movie was about something else.

The White Balloon - you get the meaning of the title only in the last scene, after all movie was about getting the money, loosing and then trying to recuperate them to buy a goldfish.

This movie is not only deceptive, it has multiple levels of deception.

The author of the screenplay is Abbas Kiarostami, and the way it starts looks like a movie by Kiarostami about children (along with grown-ups not understanding the little ones). Where is the Friend's Home comes to mind immediately, only this is beguiling. Here the grown-ups, as estranged from the natural of children as they can be, are eventually willing to help.

Also the little girl is not faultless either. Actually she is a pest. Anything bad that comes is due to her only. She is greedy, cunning, desperate, spoiled. That's it. While she is cute. Well, because all kids her age are the same way: greedy, cunning, selfish, desperate, spoiled; a pest, while extremely cute. That's why we love them.

Is it then a nice comedy about a cute girl who desires a goldfish? Not exactly, that's just another level of deception.

As it comes to the end, we realize the remarkable wholeness of this movie: a close space, just a couple of streets, a very short period of time, just a couple of hours, just a few personages, confined to this small space and time. Each one (not only the girl) is acting somehow frenetically, and the resulting whole is a crazy small universe, absurdly self-sufficient.

These people are acting totally unaware of each other, except when it happens to collide; in these particular situations they fight or cooperate, or do the both, then again each one is unaware of others' presence.

There is however a boy who's the exception, a stranger (an Afghan immigrant)... but you should watch the movie to get it.


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