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Iran, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Journey to Iran)

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf

In the poor south of Teheran, two young girls have spent the first 12 years of life locked up in their home. After several families in the street write to the Social Services to denounce their father, a social worker arrives to begin an inquiry. The father's annoyed response is that his daughters are like flowers: "They mustn't be exposed to the sun or they would soon fade."

The Apple is the debut feature for Samira Makhmalbaf, daughter of veteran Iranian filmmaker, Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Gabbeh, Salaam Cinema [both MIFF 1996] and A Moment of Innocence [MIFF 1997]). From a director only 18 years old, The Apple is a film both that speaks with the voice of Iranian youth. Stripped of the usual hooks of sentiment or personal judgement, the film maintains a deep honesty without exploiting its subjects. An official selection at Cannes 1998, The Apple is tipped as a taste of much more to come from this exceptionally talented filmmaker.

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