Iranian Films Find Their Way to Arab Satellite Channels

Published March 5th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Arab satellite channels have started to feel the charm of the Iranian films after they secured good reputation that echoed at the various international festivals, according to the daily al Hayat. 

It is clear that these films reached the Arabic viewer late compared to others, particularly the west which was familiar with these films at early stages and introduced them through the prizes which they were donated in Cannes, Lucerne and Nant and to some extent at Berlin and Venice international festivals. 

The Syrian satellite channel also aired the Iranian film The Wind Will Carry Us directed by Abbas Kiarostami within the program World of Cinema, which the young film critic Randah Rahongi oversees.  

The story concerns an engineer (Behzad Dourani) and two never seen colleagues who travel to a remote village in Iranian Kurdistan for reasons that remain unknown. The story of the engineer is counter-pointed against the lives of the people he encounters: a young boy who becomes his guide, a laborer who discusses the restrictive roles of women, a pregnant woman who shelters them, and the village elder, or teacher, who surmises the reason of their visit. But the movie's structure is identifiable to those familiar with Kiarostami's work. It is about a privileged outsider dropped into an alien culture who becomes a witness to the customs, beliefs, daily rituals and actions of the locals. The village -- a labyrinth of caves, paths and mountains -- is transformed into the stage where the overlapping and entwined stories play out and connect.  

The film's title comes from a line in a love poem by Forough Farrokhzad that echoes the Rubai'yat, the famous poem by the Persian writer and mathemetician Omar Khayam, which calls on readers to live for the present and savor life and nature -- sound advice for a character who is impatient when a woman takes too long to die. 

Moreover, the Kuwaiti satellite channel has recently aired the film The color of Paradise directed by Majid Majidi. The film is about the plight of a blind kid called Mohammed who becomes victim for the “blindness” of his father who wants to get rid of him in order to be able to get married for the second time. The father throws his son in an orphanage school in Teheran hoping to forget him but the school administration returns the boy to his father because it cannot spend on him infinitely -- 

© 2002 Al Bawaba (

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