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 »
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.
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
Mehrollah is a 14-year-old boy who is forced to find a job to support his family after his father dies. He travels to the southern parts of Iran, looking for work. Upon his return to his hometown, he notices certain changes in his family.
One of the great pleasures I get out of watching foreign films is that I get see a real culture, not tainted by the political or mythical stereotypes that we have put upon them. The Apple (a.k.a. Sib) is perfect example, as it is an Iranian made production that speaks nothing of terrorism, but only of the people.
The Apple walks a thin line between documentary and drama as it tells the story of two young girls who have never walked outside their home in all the 11 years they have been alive. As the film opens, neighbors have written a letter to the Child Welfare department, and a case worker comes to the home to take the children away. Their father, a fundamentalist muslim, and their blind mother protest this and are allowed to take them back only if they promise to treat them properly.
What is truly amazing about this film is that is was filmed by Massoumeh Naderi, a seventeen year old actress and director, and that it stars the actual children and their father. As I watched this film I wasn't aware of this fact and I recall thinking about the amateur acting, yet how these characters seemed so believable. All of this makes me want to see the film again.
The Apple is one of the few films that has left thinking long after the credits have rolled and I am sure I will be disecting it for weeks to come. A review I read after the film questioned how the American media might cover a story of two children being locked away. I, on the other hand, am pondering the films intent, (I gather it is about women's rights) and the state of affairs for the real people who live in Iran.
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