Tag Archives: Persian

The Wind Will Carry Us / Bad Ma Ra Khahad Bord (1999) Abbas Kiarostami, Behzad Dorani, Noghre Asadi, Roushan Karam Elmi, Drama

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This idiosyncratic drama from Iran begins as a jeep winds through the hills of Kurdistan, containing an engineer (Behzad Dourani) and his two assistants (whom we never see) as they search for a small village in the mountains. When they arrive, they are greeted by a young boy, who shows them a place they can stay and guides the engineer to the home of an old woman (also never seen) who seems to be dying. No one is sure what the engineer and his men are doing there; some locals think he’s keeping watch of the old woman and wants to purchase her land when she dies, while others think he could be an archeologist searching for rare artifacts.

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Sokout / The Silence (1998) Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Tahmineh Normatova, Nadereh Abdelahyeva, Goibibi Ziadolahyeva, Drama, Music

Sokout (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1998)
Because of his special gift in identifying objects by the sounds they make, a blind young boy is employed as a string instrument tuner in a small village in Tajikistan. He may be blind but that does not mean he cannot see. On his way to work, he could tell the quality of the bread the young girls along the streets are peddling by simply touching their ware. His world is made more colorful and quaint because of his sensitivity to his surroundings. The only problem is that he is easily “tempted” by street musicians’ performances and arrives late at work.

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Bicycleran / The Cyclist (1987) Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mahshid Afsharzadeh, Firouz Kiani, Samira Makhmalbaf, Drama

Bicycleran (1987)
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 promoter who sells tickets to watch Nasim ride a bicycle continuously for a week. The promoter brings in sick and aged spectators, haranguing them to find hope in Nasim’s strength. Aided by his son, who feeds him as he rides, Nasim grinds out the days and shivering nights. Local officials believe this may be a plot and Nasim may be a spy; they try to sabotage him as do those who bet he won’t finish the week. Will desperation alone get Nasim the money? Is any triumph an illusion?

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Kelid / The Key (1987) Ebrahim Forouzesh, Mahnaz Ansarian, Abbas Jafari, Amir Mohammad Pourhassan, Drama

Kelid (1987)
Calamity by four-year old might be another title for this tense, humorous drama. In the story, a four year old boy (Mohammed Aladpoush) is left at home with his baby brother while his mother goes out shopping. She has told him to give the baby his bottle while she is away. However, the boy has a different idea about what he should do, and consumes most of the bottle himself. The hungry baby’s cries arouse the neighbors to try and get into the apartment, but it is locked, and the four-year old can’t (or, more likely, won’t) let them in. Despite a number of near-disasters, the enterprising young boy manages things just well enough (with the occasional help of shouted advice from frantic neighbors) so that serious calamities are avoided.

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Roozi ke zan shodam / The Day I Became a Woman (2000) Marzieh Makhmalbaf, Fatemeh Cherag Akhar, Hassan Nebhan, Shahr Banou Sisizadeh, Comedy, Drama

Roozi ke zan shodam (2000)
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 no longer play with the boys she had been playing with only the day before because she is now a woman. Told from the perspective of a 9-year-old girl who does not feel like or know what the word “woman” refers to, we see how devastatingly this affects both the girl and the boy with whom she had been friends. The second part is about a young woman who decides to enter a bicycle race against her husband’s wishes. As first, the husband and then increasing numbers of men from her village ride beside her on horseback to convince her to return home. The race begins to symbolize a freedom that she desperately wants from the limitations that have been placed on her. Finally, the third part shows us an old woman who has come into some money and is now free to do what she wants.

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Beed-e majnoon / The Willow Tree (2005) Majid Majidi, Parviz Parastui, Roya Taymourian, Afarin Obeisi, Drama

Beed-e majnoon (2005)
Blind since childhood, Youssef has a devoted wife, loving daughter, and successful university career, but his affliction fills him with secret torment. As if in answer to his prayers, a clinic restores his sight- a miracle that is double-edged. Although this new world of sight and color floods him with ecstacy- the breathtaking images seen through his reawakened eyes include a dazzling vista of snow-blanketed hills, a shower of molten gold sparks in a jewlery foundry, an array of lollipop lights behind a rain-speckled car window- it also plunges him into a labyrinth of confusion and temptations. A pretty student begins to enclipse his previously invisible wife; he silently watches a subway pickpoket, who fixes him with a look of withering complicity. Eager to claim the lost life he feels he is owed but unable to take the next step, Youssef is inflamed with possibility and paralyzed with egoism.

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