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THE WHITE BALLOON

Iran, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Contemporary World Cinema )

Director: Jafar Panahi

Much to everyone's surprise, fundamentalist hard-line Iran has been pioving that humanist cinema is alive and thriving for at least a decade now To established names like Kiarostami, Makmalbaf, Bani' etemad and Foruzesh we can now add Jafar Panahi. winner of last year's Best First Film Award at Cannes lor this masterpiece of simple yet enthralling cinematic story-telling Magical, charming but never cutesy. The White Balloon is destined to delight audiences everywhere. The plot is slight seven-year-old Razieh wants to buy a goldfish in the bazaar. but when she gets to the shop she discovers she has lost her money However, the results are deftly suspenseful. Will Razieh escape the wiles of the snake-charmer? Will she find her money again? How will she rescue the banknote once she has discovers it beyond her reach? Is the soldier who oilers to help trustworthy or dangerous? And will we ever discover The White Balloon of the title and its significance? We sit on the edges of our sears as it watching a Hitchcock masterpiece.

Panahi is aided by a magnificent script from one of the world's undisputed great film makers Abbas Kiarostami. The master director of such film as Where Is the Friends Home? and Through The Olive Trees (MIFF 1995) Kiarostami's reputation is for attention to the telling details and moral dilemmas of everyday life, and for coaxing outstanding performances from non-professional actors. The While Balloon extends his minimalist achievement and little Aida Mohammadkhani has won one award after another for her remarkable realisation of Razieh. (CB)

See also...

WHITE BALLOON, THE

Iran, 1995
Winner of the Camera D'or at the Cannes Film Festival, Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon is the story of a young Iranian girl's trip to the market - a simple undertaking that becomes unexpectedly wayl… More »

MIRROR, THE

Iran, 1997
“One of the most powerful films to have emerged from Iran this decade.” - Toronto International Film Festival A little girl's journey through the streets of Tehran turns into a dazzling metaficti… More »

CRIMSON GOLD

Iran, 2003
Crimson Gold was selected as the Closing Night film of Un Certain Regard and winner of the Jury Award, Un Certain Regard, at the Cannes Film Festival. ... An intimate and absorbing drama, Crimson Gol… More »

CIRCLE, THE

Iran, 2000
The Circle was a multiple award-winner at the Venice Film Festival in 2000. ... A tour de force, The Circle depicts the plight of several Iranian women oppressed solely for being born female in a mal… More »

OFFSIDE

Iran, 2005
Offside was the winner of the Silver Bear award at this year's Berlin Film Festival. ... For almost three decades, Iranian soccer players have been cheered almost exclusively by men. Female fans, ban… More »

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