Director: Majid Majidi
The films of Majid Majidi - including Children of Heaven (1999) and The Colour of Paradise (2000) - have captivated MIFF audiences. With Baran, a stand out film at Rotterdam, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, Majidi draws attention to the ongoing and current plight of illegal Afghan workers.
On a ramshackle construction site in Tehran, a young Afghan, Lateef, furtively grinds out a living in the company of other illegals. One day Rahmat, another Afghan, arrives to work on the site. Inadvertently, Lateef chances upon Rahmat's extraordinary secret, a revelation that sets him on a new and unexpected personal journey. Graced with nuanced performances from its non-professional cast, Baran touches on the continuing impact in Iran of war in Afghanistan and the exploitation of young clandestine workers in harsh conditions,
"Majidi uses the sweet spell of a love story to work a more complex magic... the clarity of the story, which seems to have been drawn from the literature of an earlier age, is well served by the artful subtlety of the telling. When their faces fill the screen, Lateef and Baran are universes unto themselves." - New York Times
Majid Majidi (born in Tehran, Iran, 1959) studied acting at the Institute of Dramatic Art in Tehran. He debuted as a director and screenwriter with Baduk (1992). Children of Heaven (MIFF 1999) was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, while his next film, The Colour of Paradise (MIFF 2000), was selected by Time Magazine as one of the ten best movies of 2000.