Iranian cinema’s New Wave after the Islamic Revolution is characterized by movies at the helm of such directors as globally-renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi.
His hopeful movies are the depiction of how children’s innocence affects adults in a positive way. Majidi has never been one for complicated plotting. His movies are simple and demystify the Iranian culture for a global audience.
‘Baduk’, agenesis of a genius
Majidi’s feature debut comes following some docs and shorts he made in the early years of his directing career. The flick shows the importance of isolation in childhood.
'Muhammad: The Messenger of God’, memorable masterpiece
‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’, is a biopic on the prophet’s early life. According to Majidi, the film is an attempt to depict the reality of Islam despite bias in the world.
The crew includes renowned international names such as Oscar-winning Vittorio Storaro as the D.o.P. Majid Majidi has shown his steep prowess through making a feature with a religious theme.
‘Willow Tree’, a philosophical stint
Religion and faith are dominant themes in Majid’s films. ‘Willow Tree’ is a case in point with philosophy being triggered in the background. The film is about Yousef, a man blinded in a fireworks accident, as a child. In his middle-age, he regains his vision after an operation but in the process, loses his spiritual and moral strength.
‘Barefoot to Herat’, hardship mixed with children’s innocence
‘Barefoot to Herat’, is a doc showing the disturbing journey of Afghan refugees. All the events and situations are visual and expressed by the Afghans. What makes the depiction of such hardship a bit unbearable is the use of child actors as they possess the attributes of unyielding hope amid hardship.
‘Children of Heaven’, a tribute to fathers
Majidi had the talent of acting, but he never revealed to his father who was against his son being an actor. When his father died, he felt so much pain and remorse. ‘Children of Heaven’ is a dedication to all loving fathers. The film narrates the story of two children and a pair of shoes. Ali loses his sister’s repaired shoes when he passes through the market. The siblings come to an agreement that they’d share Ali’s one pair of shoes, thus causing many troubles in their lives.
The flick instantly transported Iranian cinema onto the world map as it became the first Iranian film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
‘The Color of God’, performance haunting you forever
You tear up before the flick's 10 minutes pass as it revolves around an 8-year-old unsighted boy, Mohammad, who does not let his difficulties stop him from seeing the world. His bitter father does not accept Mohammad’s optimism. The flick is themed on hope, faith and humanity. We see a tangible and inward world through Mohammad’s blind eyes.
The leading actor’s performance haunts you forever and shreds your heart into pieces, especially when he says in the flick, “If I see God one day, I’m going to ask him, ‘Why did you create me in this form?’”
‘The Song of Sparrows’, nuanced poverty depiction
In this movie, Majidi depicts the bond between nature and human beings. Karim is a simple man with a simple life who works on an ostrich farm to support his family in a small village. All of a sudden he loses his job after letting one of the valuable ostriches escape. Now he has to struggle to find any kind of job in order to make ends meet. Desperate to repair his daughter’s broken hearing aid, Karim sets out on his motorcycle to find a job in Tehran.
He falls into a lucrative new line of work when a distracted businessman mistakes him for a taxi and jumps on the back of his motorcycle. But as the charm of the metropolitan takes its hold on Karim, he begins to lose sight of what matters most.
Just like his other films, Majidi shows poverty but never exploit the concept. Since his films are viewed across the globe, Majidi makes characters communicate through visual language rather than verbal one.
‘Sun Children’, cast of hope for equality
His latest offering is a drama with a cast of non-professional teenage actors dealing with child labor in real life. Majidi stays focused on a small group of youngsters whose challenges, while minor, loom large as mountains in their minds. The flick that was acclaimed at the latest edition of the Venice Film Festival is to remind that all kids are created equal, deserving education and encouragement.