This extraordinary debut feature, about a 7-year-old’s first journey alone into the streets of Tehran, is a movie of audacious subtlety and simplicity, and a deserving Cannes prize-winner. It takes place in ‘real time’, the 84 minutes leading to New Year (March 21), as little Razieh (Aïda Mohammadkhani) goes off to purchase, with her mother’s last 500 toman, the ‘chubby’ gold-fish that has taken her fancy. Along the way, she encounters snake-charmers, irate shopkeepers, a country-born soldier, a young Afghan boy with a white balloon – a whole world hitherto ‘forbidden’. Scripted in collaboration with leading Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, this is a film of small incident, minute, telling observations, and enormous heart and intelligence. Tethering the movie to the child’s point of view (both literal and metaphorical), Panahi absorbs us so entirely into his heroine’s delicate, enquiring world, that the loss of her money and her separation from her brother create an atmosphere of suspense as gripping as that of any Hitchcock thriller. Moreover, suggestive intimations of the troubled adult world – the mother’s anxiety in the bazaar, the lonely ‘outsiders’ – combine to produce a feeling of almost metaphysical tension.
- Source : Time Out Film Guide 13 Continue reading
Tahmineh Milani’s “The Fifth Reaction”
An Iranian Woman Fighting for Her Rights
By Josef Schnelle
Five women sit in a restaurant in Tehran and talk about their husbands and their marriages. First, the conversations are quite amusing, but later on we notice that each woman faces serious problems below the thin surface of legal rights granted to women in Iran. Continue reading
Today Iranian cinema is one of the most highly regarded national cinemas in the world, regularly winning festival awards and critical acclaim for films which combine remarkable artistry and social relevance. Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution traces the development of this film industry, which has always been closely intertwined with the country’s tumultuous political history, from the decades-long reign of Reza Shah Pahlevi and his son, the rise of Khomeini and the birth of the Islamic Republic, the seizure by militants of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and the devastating war with Iraq. Continue reading
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife’s request for a divorce. Continue reading
Upon returning home to Iran after more than two decades abroad, visiting professor Arash is quickly thrust into a past he’s spent his whole life trying to escape. With an estranged father on his deathbed and a mother who wants nothing to do with her husband’s shady past, Arash finds himself at the mercy of the rest of the family who have their own ideas about what should happen to his father’s assets. Meanwhile, Arash is also grappling with the legacy of his brother’s mysterious, long-ago death. A stranger in his native country, he struggles to navigate the labyrinthine state bureaucracy, as well as the darker twists and turns of a corrupt and violent netherworld.
Seattle Film Festival
User review on imdb by rasecz :
Educational film about the advantage of being orderly
A school scene. Class has ended. Students walk down the stairs in an orderly fashion. Good. Now rewind. Class has ended. Students walk down the stairs in a disorderly fashion. Bad.
The students make their way to a central court for their classroom break. A single water dispenser is at the center. Some students gather to drink. In orderly fashion it takes them a minute and ten seconds to satisfy their thirst. Rewind. In disorderly fashion it takes them three minutes and the dispenser is trashed in the confusion.
The point? Orderly behavior is efficient.
The dualist approach is now applied to pedestrians crossing a street. Orderly requires waiting for the green light. Disorderly means dodging cars and forcing cars to brake.
Iranian director Ali Reza Amini’s Namehay Bad (Letters in the Wind) is set in the familiar world of basic training. A group of uneducated cadets is abused, toughened up, and shaped by military men. Many of the young men have to make difficult adjustments to this new life. When one of the men gets the opportunity to visit Teheran, the others give him messages that they want him to deliver to their families. Letters in the Wind was screened at the Toronto Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide
The original 35 mm color version of the film was banned by the Government of Iran when the movie released in 2002. The movie was released in a gray tone digital version in the 2002 Toronto Film Festival. The director based some parts of the movie on his own experiences in the Iran-Iraq war, referring to the movie as being made in the “belly of the army”. Continue reading