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THE PEAR TREE

Iran, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Journey to Iran)

Director: Dariush Mehrjui

The latest project from veteran Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui is a contemporary fable about the redemptive power of the spirit. Mahmud (Homayun Eskandari) is a middle-aged poet and writer who returns to his place of birth in the Bagh Damavand to write a book. His best efforts at concentration are thwarted by interruptions, writer's block causes him much conster­nation. Amidst a lush garden Mahmud is struck by a pear tree—now gnarled and barren—which raises memories of his childhood and youth. The ancient gar­dener reminds him that of all the trees in the garden, only the pear tree has not born fruit. Through the pear tree, Mahmud is drawn back into his childhood and to the first great love of his life. His mental journey helps him to review his life's work and discover the meaning of the pear tree's silence.

The symbolic conjunction between the creative powers of the poet and those of nature form only one of the many entry points into this miraculous film. Like the garden's own fragility, Dariush Mehrjui constructs a cin­ematic language that is both subtle and poignant. Mahmud Kalari's cinematography captures the garden's ambience such that the location rises trom a mere back­drop and becomes an integral part of the action itself.

See also...

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