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Films From Iran

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 along. From the opening shot, we are hypnotised by this film-within-a-film in which characters jump in ... Read more
Hakemzadeh is commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to travel with a mobile open-ait cinema through the mountainous green north of Iran. Trekking from one remote spot to the next, traveling with his young son, Hakemzadeh finds himself in an isolated village where people have never seen a film ... Read more
Despite landmines, kidnapping, assassination and death by dehydration and starvation, thousands of determined Shiite Muslims have been pouring across the Iran-Iraq border since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government. Some estimate as many as 3000 a day make the journey. They risk their lives to ... Read more
[Prostitution Behind the Veil] opens a window onto the difficult lives of Minna and Fariba, two young single mothers who make their way as best they can in a society that affords little opportunity to women in their position. Pushed onto the streets after the disintegration of their marriages ... Read more
Children build up a world of their own in their imagination, and, in doing so, often cross the border between reality and fantasy. ... Read more
Sometimes, an optimistic and dynamic creature can bring light and colour to his surroundings . . . ... Read more
The Riverside Iran During the recent Iraq'US war, a newly-wed bride steps on a mine in the sparse, sun-scorched desert on the Iran'Iraq border. If she moves her foot, the mine will detonate. Pleading for her husband to help, the young woman is hysterical. Urging his beloved to remain calm, the man ... Read more
Yet another thoughtful piece from the Iranian master, the film combines ... poetry, photography, classical music, and cinema with the leitmotif of the road. A short experimental work that Abbas Kiarostami made almost en passant. ... Read more
... ... 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 of the cinema in Iran that a modest press ad for a film audition can result in a street riot! Looking ... Read more
Supported through Rotterdam Film Festivals Hubert Bals Fund for innovative talent in developing countries, Secret Ballot is a sharply evocative political allegory. It's also something of a rarity for an Iranian film: a deadpan comedy. Director Babak Payami gives this quirky drama a formal, subdued ... Read more
This is the kind of film that cameras were made for, a simple story of a man on a journey to Iran through the swamps of Iraq to bring a gown to his bride. From one of the most remote and endangered cultures, this is a must-see for its rarity if not for the beautifully lyrical ... Read more
Bahman Farmanara, an Iranian film director, has not been allowed to work by the Post-Revolutionary Censor Board for the past 20 years. Somewhat in desperation, he accepts an assignment from Japanese TV to make a documentary about funeral rites, which gradually becomes a film about his own funeral ... Read more
“Humanely wrought.” - Eye Weekly ... Snow takes place amid the ruins and the anguish that followed the Serbo-Bosnian conflict. An isolated Bosnian village of mostly women and children must continue their lives in the absence of their husbands and fathers. The villagers worship, they wait and ... Read more
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An elderly railway signalman who watches an isolated crossing is about to retire. He receives the news without understanding what is to happen to him. He and his wife go about their daily chores, sleeping, eating, preparing for another day, that is almost identical to the last. They follow out ... Read more
Filmed with the piercing intensity of a parable, Iranian helmer Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry follows a desperate man on the verge of suicide who seeks someone willing to bury him discreetly. One of the director's darkest and most personal movies, the story has a bleak premise which is turned ... Read more
Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1997, Taste of Cherry follows the plight of a desolate man, searching for someone to bury him, as he contemplates suicide. Although dark in tone, the film is undoubtedly the product of Kiarostami's profound humanist sensibilities. Eschewing sentimentality ... Read more
The dark underbelly of Tehran (known to locals as Tehroun) is laid bare in Nader Takmil Homayoun's feature debut. ... Ibrahim's racket is begging for money from passers-by for himself and his infant son, but in reality the boy is rented from a mob boss purely to gain pity and cash from strangers ... Read more
"A very remarkable film, one of the very best of the year—remarkable for its strenuous technical simplicity, for its superbly intelligent acting and for the extraordinary, almost unmediated access it appears to give to the lives and thoughts of real, modern women in Iran."—Peter ... Read more
The Accordion tells of the human drive for material survival against a backdrop of religious intolerance. Two young street performers in Tehran, a boy and a girl, have their accordion confiscated following an incident, which they must learn to accept in order to survive. ... In 2010, dissident ... Read more
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 war-ravaged Afghanistan. For his latest work, Makhmalbaf has stripped away any artifce and produced ... Read more
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 ... Read more
"Potent symbolism linked to a bizarre story rooted in fact, set in Iran and laden with political, social and generational overtones." - New York Times ... A truly remarkable achievement, The Apple (MIFF 1999) was directed by Samira Makhmalbaf at the age of 17 using leftover film stock from her ... Read more
... ... Little Samaneh lives with her mother in a one-room apartment and frequently must accom­pany her to her job in a garment factory, where she acts like the wilful pre-schooler she is. Moth­er fulfils a dream by buying Samaneh a pair of shiny red boots, one of which is immediately lost ... Read more
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