Following the reports of some neighbours, the year-old girls are finally liberated, and the film follows them as they discover and explore the outside world they had never known before.
The Apple was chosen for the official selection of the edition of Cannes Film Festival , making Samira the youngest director to participate in the French festival. Samira was actually invited again to Cannes in with her second feature film, The Blackboards, the story of a group of itinerant teachers looking for kids to teach across Kurdish Iran, carrying their blackboards on their backs; and once again in with her third feature film, At Five in the Afternoon , the first film ever to be shot in Kabul after the end of the Taliban government, which centres on a young woman looking to gain an education in post-Taliban Afghanistan.
by Eric Egan
But it would have been harder to predict that Hana, born in , would come to the attention of the international cinema scene already at the age of 9, when she presented her first short film, The Day My Aunt Was Ill, at the Locarno Film Festival. Her first feature film, Buddah Collapsed Out of Shame , came in and received many prestigious prizes across the globe. Talent is certainly not a matter of genetic heredity.
But it can be infectious. Today,the three young Makhmalbafs are 34, 33 and 26 years old respectively — they have entire careers to look forward to, and quite an advantage under their belt: they can already make a good film, thanks to Mohsen and Marziyeh. It began in and then ended with the beginning of the Iranian revolution in The films produced were original, artistic and political.
Subsequent films of this type have become known as the New Iranian cinema to distinguish them from their earlier roots. The factors leading to the rise of the New Wave in Iran were, in part, due to the intellectual and political movements of the time. A romantic climate was developing after the 19 August coup in the sphere of arts.
Iran’s Tensions, Foreshadowed in Its Cinema
Alongside this, a socially committed literature took shape in the s and reached a peak in the s, which many consider the golden era of contemporary Persian literature. Iranian New Wave films shared some characteristics with the European art films of the period, in particular Italian Neorealism.
However, in her article 'Real Fictions', Rose Issa argues that Iranian films have a distinctively Iranian cinematic language "that champions the poetry in everyday life and the ordinary person by blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality, feature film with documentary. Issa claims that "This new, humanistic aesthetic language, determined by the film-makers' individual and national identity, rather than the forces of globalism, has a strong creative dialogue not only on homeground but with audiences around the world.
Moreover, Iranian new wave films are rich in poetry and painterly images. There is a line back from modern Iranian cinema to the ancient oral Persian storytellers and poets , via the poems of Omar Khayyam. There have inevitably been dark whispers about how far they are her own work and how much her father's. Makhmalbaf doesn't care. She is wonderfully defiant: "I want him to edit my films so why should I have to, because he is my father, say, 'No, please don't edit it'?
- Angry young woman!
- Le monde britannique : Religions et cultures (1815-1931) (Cours) (French Edition).
- Sport in the UK (Active Learning in Sport Series).
- Macchine (Italian Edition).
- Klein Dorrit (beide Bände) (German Edition)!
But at the same time, I'm not that much young. At the moment I'm so old. Even older than what he is. He is 40 and something, and I am 90 years old.
Blackboards is the sort of film that takes your breath away and leaves its images burned indelibly on your mind. The story opens with a group of teachers roving the mountains between Iraq and Iran , in a landscape of breathtaking beauty and danger, their blackboards on their backs, in search of students. The original idea, Makhmalbaf says, was her father's, conceived while they were travelling together in Kurdistan.
The Films of Makhmalbaf: Cinema, Politics & Culture in Iran
The development was all her own. The film follows two of the teachers who break away from the group - one, Reeboir, comes across a trail of boys, who like him are carrying their livelihoods on their shoulders. These children are "mules", smuggling contraband over the border. He offers to teach them in return for bread. The second teacher, Said, joins up with a group of Kurdish refugees made up of old men, one woman and a young child, who are making their way back to their homeland of Iraq to die. They refuse his offer to teach them, but they pay him in walnuts to guide them to the border. Some of the scenes, so tender and strange, are unforgettable: two old men trying to encourage their friend to urinate - he hasn't passed water for two days and is in agony; a mother trying to get her little boy to do the same, gently splashing him with water as she croons encouragement; an old man with his face covered, tossing hay seemingly aimlessly into the air, who has a letter he cannot read.
It is from his son, a prisoner of war in Iraq.
- Iran’s Tensions, Foreshadowed in Its Cinema.
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- Sport in the UK (Active Learning in Sport Series).
Makhmalbaf spent four months shooting the film in the Kurdish mountains near Halabcheh, a city on the Iraqi border where the Iraqis gassed the Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war. She dodged landmines daily and used a cast of local villagers, with just two professional actors taking leading roles. They were humans, good humans, suffering from different things. It was a deeper kind of life compared to most of the other places I've lived. The film works through allegory, metaphor and the surreal, rather than documentary - and explores what happens to people caught up in conflicts. Violence is never far away: the film echoes with the sound of gunfire and helicopters.
At one point, near the border, the Kurdish refugees throw themselves to the ground believing themselves to be under chemical attack. The camera, held at shoulder level, meanders among these stoical people trekking through the mountains, giving the viewer a refugee's-eye view of this beautiful but frightening world.
The Makhmalbaf Family | A Legacy of Filmmaking
On a chilly day in London, Makhmalbaf is wrapped up in black, heavy cotton, like a precious object. When she has met other interviewers she has worn jeans; today she is wearing more traditional dress, which would not look out of place on the streets of Tehran. Maybe it's because she's about to catch a plane home. I think she's had enough of media interviews, being quizzed about politics and Islam. Lots of western journalists expect her to be much more angry and openly critical of the political situation in Iran. She says she's more interested in deeper, greater, universal truths, rather than the specifics of a particular political system.
Which is clearly true - she is an artist rather than a political activist - but there must be an element of self-preservation in her reticence. Iran is her home, she loves it, and she has to live and work there, in the shadow of the censors, who - remarkably - have left her films untouched. And of course there are her father's experiences to take into account.
Related Films of Makhmalbaf: Cinema, Politics and Culture in Iran
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