Director: Ebrahim Foruzesh
Gently humorous, with the pleasing simplicity of a fable, The Jar seems an unlikely candidate for the harsh censorship that saw it banned in its own country for three years. Yet director Ebrahim Forouzesh's hallmark style-where every detail is emotionally resonant and from the smallest things come great stories-is ripe for metaphor and a multitude of meanings
Dedicated "To all the children of the desert", the tale pivots on a village teacher's attempts to motivate an impoverished community to replace the schools precious water jar (It has cracked, and to drink, his young students must make a long trip to a dangerous stream). Forouzesh's veiled realism unravels the escalating events via comic observation of individual foibles, failings, happenstance, village gossip, tradition and bureaucracy, quietly revealing a world dominated by ignorance and deprivation.
The chiefly non-professiional cast of children exert a powerful charm whilst the adult players delight as symbolic incarnations of egotism, stubbornness and determination.
Emblazoned with simple humanism and a visual poetry drawn in the rich desert textures of sand and stone, The Jar is a vital addition to one of the truly exciting arenas of contemporary cinema, Iranian filmmaking.