lunedì 28 gennaio 2013

Beed-e majnoon (The willow tree) - Majid Majidi

Majid Majidi è davvero bravo, una storia che letta non dice troppo, poi vedi il film e ti conquista.
l'avventura di Youseff fa tremare i polsi, riesce a recuperare la vista, ma perde le sue certezze.
davvero coinvolgente, per me, un piccolo capolavoro - Ismaele

QUI il film completo

The Willow Tree is a slower-paced art-like film. Take time with it and let it seep into your bones. It will bring reflection when you need it. A sense of calm in life's crazy storm. It is lush with beauty, ripe with meaningful questions, a bit melancholy in its prayers for humanity, but enduring and timeless as a resonant work of art.

…In Majid Majidi's latest masterpiece, Youseff (Parviz Parastui) is a kindly and awkward university don who has been living with blindness since a childhood accident involving fireworks. It is not an uncomfortable life that Youseff leads: he has a loving wife who reads his students' thesis for him, as well as perform clerical tasks like typing transcripts of his essays, a child who adores him, and an extended family who is there for him, no matter what. Hampered by his disability, true and complete happiness eludes him until the man regains his sight through a cornea transplant procedure - and this is where the film begins in earnest...

the movie couldn't work without the excellent soundtrack, or the commanding performance by the lead Parviz Parastui. He has on one hand made Youssef a likable fellow, yet managed in the same movie to make us despise his actions, with a tinge of pity, and at times, just wanting to slap him out of his arrogance. It's been a long while since I actually cared for a character, and want to reach out to him - as the bystanders usually have the better view of any situation - and to direct him, just as how you would a blind person, to avoid the pitfalls that seem set to dawn on him.

At another level, The Willow Tree has indeed opened my eyes to more of Iran, instead of those ra-ra sanctions filled news bulletins demonizing the country as a whole. I thought that through film, I see a little more of a country caught on celluloid, depicting the same hopes, dreams, and even challenges that folks in the country grapple with too. And with such intelligent stories from their filmmakers, you wonder about their rich culture, and also realize that you don't need big sets and big moments to create an impact - the little things in life that you can put into stories to tell, work just as majestically.

On the technical production side, it is worth nothing that although the film is beautifully crafted and photographed, the Iranian prohibition concerning the presentation of adult Iranian women is severely restrictive. Women must be shown wearing the hejab at all times, even inside their own homes, which is unnatural. Not only are men and women forbidden to kiss, of course, they cannot even touch in any way. This is a problem that Iranian filmmakers try to overcome in creative ways, but it is clearly problematic, for example in the case when Youssf is joyfully greeted by his wife and family upon his return from Paris. In addition, there are elements in the film that I find somewhat open-ended and make me wonder...

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