7.0/10
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Gabbeh (1996)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 25 June 1997 (USA)
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When an old couple washes their gabbeh - a type of Persian rug - a young woman magically appears and tells them her life story.

Director:

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Reviews
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Abbas Sayah Abbas Sayah ... Uncle
Shaghayeh Djodat Shaghayeh Djodat ... Gabbeh
Hossein Moharami Hossein Moharami ... Old Man
Rogheih Moharami Rogheih Moharami ... Old Woman
Parvaneh Ghalandari Parvaneh Ghalandari
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Storyline

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 clean the rug. This young woman belongs to the clan whose history is depicted in the design of the gabbeh, and the rug recounts the story of the courtship of the young woman by a stranger from the clan. Written by Mike Myers <mmyers@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

sourehcinema

Country:

Iran | France

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

25 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Det persiske teppet See more »

Filming Locations:

Iran

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,818, 29 June 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$273,967, 10 August 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Influenced by Sergei Parajanov's The Color of Pomegranates (1969) See more »

Connections

Followed by The Silence (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is a visually stunning film.
25 December 2002 | by tlarry858See all my reviews

This visually stunning film tells the story of an old couple's gabbeh-a finely crafted Persian carpet. One day when they go to a nearby spring to wash the carpet, an attractive young woman appears suddenly and mysteriously-she is the apotheosis of the people whose tale is told in the carpet's woof and warp.

The film is a surrealistic folk tale. As she helps the old woman wash the carpet, the young woman (the spirit of the carpet) begins the tale of her life, which becomes the film's story. The film's charm lies in the magical use of color and water to tell a story. Young girls are everywhere in native dresses that complement the picturesque scenery with as many dabs of color as a French impressionist painting. The filmmaker here is an artist, adept at sunsets, drifting cotton-white clouds on a pristine blue canvas. Pastels, ultramarines, burnt siennas, ochres-there is a sensuous joy in the very colors of the earth and sky.

The world of the film is a kaleidoscope of color. Exotic birds appear from nowhere like bursts of sunset. Young women dress in native Iranian costumes of reds, golds, blues, and greens. And through it all, the sounds of flowing water, like little bells or delicate wind chimes, is given a palpable presence.

The Persian carpet, no longer mute, beguiles the viewer with its simple, haunting tale of people and places at once so ancient and new. The wolf-like howls of a young woman's lover merge with the sound of the water as it rills and flows over stones, pebbles, and sand. The water is itself a comment on the people whose lives are lived within its boundaries. The magical and surrealistic elements of the peasant girl's story weave themselves into a fairy-tale. What enchantment there is in a young woman's quest for love and continuity. The very air is rich with the colors, sights, and sounds-the spices and incense of the Near East.


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