7.9/10
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Avaze gonjeshk-ha (2008)

PG | | Drama, Family | 1 October 2008 (Iran)
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When an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes ... See full summary »

Director:

Majid Majidi
7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mohammad Amir Naji ... Karim (as Reza Najie)
Maryam Akbari Maryam Akbari ... Nargess
Kamran Dehghan Kamran Dehghan ... Abbas
Hamid Aghazi Hamid Aghazi ... Hossein
Schabnam Akhlaghi Schabnam Akhlaghi ... Haneyeh
Neshat Nazari Neshat Nazari ... Zarah
Hassan Rezaee Hassan Rezaee ... Ramezan
Ponya Salehi Ponya Salehi ... Ponya
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Storyline

When an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes into a world alien to him - incredibly hectic Tehran, where sudden opportunities for independence, thrill and challenge him. But his honor and honesty, plus traditional authority over his inventive clan, are tested, as he stumbles among vast cultural and economic gaps between his village nestled in the desert, and a throbbing international metropolis. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Chasing dreams. Finding hope.

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site (us) | sourehcinema

Country:

Iran

Language:

Persian | Azerbaijani

Release Date:

1 October 2008 (Iran) See more »

Also Known As:

The Song of Sparrows See more »

Filming Locations:

Tehran, Iran

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,863, 5 April 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$115,927, 30 October 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Iran's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category. See more »

Goofs

Spoiler: The ostrich that escaped is male. Therefore it couldn't have laid those eggs found in the field. Male ostriches are big and it's colors are black and white; females are small and gray. The last scene shows an male ostrich in a typically male mating performance. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Undoubtedly contemplative and metaphorical, film guarantees a high replay value.
25 July 2008 | by crey014See all my reviews

Majid Majidi helms "Avaze Gonjeshk-ha", a film that laments on the influence of materialistic societies and elevates pastoral romanticism. Beautifully filmed and empathetically characterized, audiences will be enchanted by little pleasures delivered, eventually snowballing to something poetically charged. Run time might be excessive, but this might just prove as nitpicking. Script lacks any sort of cynicism, a positive, as the film is nostalgic to moments of innocence. Question is, did it even exist? Picture shows it did in Majidi's universe.

First act parallels the vibe of the Argentinean produced "Bombon: El Perro". Main protagonist Karim (Mohammad Amir Naji), fired from his job as an ostrich farmer, ventures off to Tehran to earn some money and find means to upgrade a broken hearing aid desperately needed by one of his daughters. Characterization is the main motivation here, as the director lovingly sculpts Karim as a paternal character untarnished by any sort of negative, earthly influences. Not that he is uninspired by desire, but his desire is more directed to more altruistic means towards his family. Thesping by Naji is pitch perfect.

And here's where the film becomes more than it actually claims to be. Venturing off to exciting Tehran, Karim turns wide eyed, as he accidentally becomes a taxi driver. Comedy is potent here, definitely not used to degrade main protagonist though. Eventually, picture develops him into an influenced mortal showing greed and materialism. From an innocent television antenna, his backyard expands and practically becomes a junkyard. His character development transcends the screen, as every piece of junk he hogs, loss of his old self is palpable.

Directing clearly emphasizes Karim as an Adam out of Eden, banished by circumstances to a city wrapped in earthly pleasures. Cinematography plays a massive role in this recurring theme. Lensed by Turaj Mansuri, film paints Iranian countryside as fertile and effervescent whilst modern Tehran isn't exactly depicted as ruthless and evil, but more constrictive and crowded. Cityscape is painted as monotone brown, allowing the characters to paint themselves, easily using citizens to express a point. Film isn't judgmental of city living, only reminds them of what they're missing.

And that's just the first act. Next chapters' focuses on Karim's redemption from a fall from grace, events transpired that might come off normal to modern people but nonetheless, out of character to himself. His family life is placed in focus, as with Karim, audiences are allowed to comprehend (and remind main protagonist) what his old desires were. Undoubtedly contemplative and metaphorical, film guarantees a high replay value. Film strikes a cord with a visual cue on fish out of water.

Picture definitely doesn't ask much from the audience, however it's upon the audience to accept it. This will reward them though as Majidi proves himself as a rich painter of not characters, but spotless souls. As with his previous films, Majidi transfers his optimism on celluloid without much trouble. Detail here is exemplary as every facet of the production is riddled with ideas waiting to be uncovered by repeat viewings.


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