7.3/10
1,993
17 user 22 critic

The Apple (1998)

Sib (original title)
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.

Director:

Samira Makhmalbaf

Writers:

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Samira Makhmalbaf (as Samireh Makhmalbaf)
Reviews
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Blackboards (2000)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Said Mohamadi, Behnaz Jafari, Bahman Ghobadi
Panj é asr (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Agheleh Rezaie, Abdolgani Yousefrazi, Razi Mohebi
Asbe du-pa (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A wealthy boy hires a poor child to carry him around like a horse.

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Ziya Mirza Mohamad, Haron Ahad, Gol-Ghotai
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Hana Makhmalbaf
Stars: Abbas Alijome, Abdolali Hoseinali, Nikbakht Noruz
Bicycleran (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Mahshid Afsharzadeh, Firouz Kiani, Samira Makhmalbaf
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Mirhadi Tayebi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Ali Bakhsi
Gabbeh (1996)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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
Stars: Shaghayeh Djodat, Hossein Moharami, Rogheih Moharami
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Marzieh Makhmalbaf
Stars: Fatemeh Cherag Akhar, Hassan Nebhan, Shahr Banou Sisizadeh
Pedar (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Hossein Abedini, Mohammad Kasebi, Parivash Nazarieh
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two desperate men watching a wrecked petrol station for goverment,whilst looking for their strange loves.

Director: Saman Salur
Stars: Mohsen Tanabandeh, Nader Fallah, Mohsen Namjoo
Davandeh (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After enrolling in a school, an impoverished boy finds conflict with his classmates and decides to compete to earn their respect.

Director: Amir Naderi
Stars: Abbas Nazeri, Madjid Niroumand, Musa Torkizadeh
Salaam Cinema (1995)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Shaghayeh Djodat, Behzad Dorani, Feizola Gashghai
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Massoumeh Naderi Massoumeh Naderi ... Massoumeh
Zahra Naderi Zahra Naderi ... Zahra
Ghorban Ali Naderi Ghorban Ali Naderi ... Father
Azizeh Mohamadi Azizeh Mohamadi ... Azizeh
Zahra Saghrisaz Zahra Saghrisaz
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Iran | France

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Apple See more »

Filming Locations:

Iran

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,207, 21 February 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$116,758, 27 June 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: This Is Not a Film (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An impressive, engaging, interesting and, most importantly, balanced documentary/drama
23 May 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

After twelve years, the neighbours of the Naderi family in Tehran write to Social Services to raise awareness and seek help with the family. The family is made up of an old man, his blind wife and his twin daughters, who he keeps locked in the house and has done for the twelve years of their lives. The parents claim they were only protecting their children but the papers tell stories of children chained up and kept like animals. The film crew watch on as the parents and children come to terms with this new, enforced freedom.

Whenever director Samira Makhmalbaf heard about the story of the Naderi family she decided to make a film about it – two or three days later this film began, using film stock left over from her father's most recent film. Several weeks later the film was complete and the final product is a startingly assured product that is engaging, impressive and very balanced. I'm not sure what specifically attracted Makhmalbaf to the story but she has managed to bring so much out of it that I imagine she saw a lot of themes worth exploring in the original article she read. The film follows the real people as they all try to come to terms with this new world – the blind wife who fears for her girls; the father who is only following teaching on raising girl and wants to protect them; and of course the girls who quickly go from barely being able to communicate to running and playing outside. On this very human level it is a compelling film that mixes documentary and drama to good effect and you easily care for the people.

A scan of the plot may see your mind made up about the cruel Iranian father and the poor oppressed wife and girls, however to do this is a mistake because the film never does this, not once. The film looks at the people but it also looks at the view of society on women and the attitudes involved; it would be easy to just slate the religious, comparatively oppressive approach of such religious states but the film is too good for that. Instead it takes a balanced view that weighs up both views and doesn't judge anyone. By doing this the film is only stronger and more interesting because it comes over as a debate that engaged my brain in that aspect just as much as it engaged me with the people in the story.

The cast are almost all the real people "playing" their roles in front of the camera as they really happen; I'm sure some of it were staged reconstructions but mostly it convinces as the real deal – happening as we watch. The father is compelling and the film's balance is evident in that it allows him to be confused and bewildered about the accusations against him. The wife is well presented as well – confounding those who will have tuned in to see a cruel man oppressing the women in his life. The twin girls are easy to like and they are the human aspect of the story come (literally) to life – their development is touching and engaging.

Overall this is an excellent mix of documentary and drama that works on many levels. It is a human story that is touching but also works on other levels, being a thoughtful and balanced look at Iranian society, the restraints on people and on women generally. Without judging, it builds an interesting debate that produces a strong film that is well worth seeking out.


25 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed