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THE SILENCE

Iran, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Journey to Iran)

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Khorshid is a ten year old blind boy who lives alone with his mother. He uses his exceptional hearing to bring extra cash into a needy household that subsists on his mother's fishing. Khorshid employs his gift as a tuner of traditional musical instruments, but, like most boys of his age he is easily distracted. A song, a pretty female voice, a rhythm or a conversation will waylay Khorshid on his way to or from work causing much consternation to both his boss and mother.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf is a master story-teller using the most minimal of palettes. Colour and texture—the surface of a brass drum, a handful of strawberries, a freshly baked loaf—background wonderful, wholly real­istic everyday human interaction. Makhmalbaf has shown himself to be adept at bringing to the screen clas­sic tales of romance, comedy, high drama and even a type of Mid East, postmodern, self-reflexive film gag with Salaam Cinema (MIFF 1996). With nothing to prove he has crafted a simple, uplifting and joyous tale of childhood curiosity. Youthful Tahmineh Normatova, who plays Khorshid, is brilliant as a gifted child who gives the impression that he is barely conscious of being without one of his senses, so rich is his life.

See also...

GABBEH

... ... A ... ... ... According to many observers (your humble servant and Werner Herzog amongst them), cinema is alive and well in two countries: China and Iran. Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Gabbeh is ... More »

THE AFGHAN ALPHABET

Moshen Makhmalbaf's feature films have long followed the Iranian tradition of blurring the line between fact and fiction. His 2001 film, Kandahar, documented one woman's heartbreaking journey through ... More »

SALAAM CINEMA

... ... Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, Mohsen Makhmalbaf s Salaam Cinema is the Iran director/activist's typically offbeat tribute to a century of cinema. Such is the popularity ... More »

ONCE UPON A TIME, CINEMA

Once Upon a Time, Cinema almost defies description, as the complexity and imagi­nation director Makhmalbaf brings to it pro­duces a dazzling visual roilercoaster, which sweeps the viewer ... More »

A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE

The lyrical and spare storytelling that Makhmalbaf applied in Gabbeh (MIFF 1996) is utilised again to tell another personal story, this time it is the director's own, told from two differ­ent ... More »

DANCE OF DUST

Dance of Dust is an evocative study of the almost unbe­lievably harsh life of Ilia, a boy living in a desolate rural backwater. Eking out a living working in a brick kiln, Ilia is haunted by ... More »

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