What's most refreshing about Majidi's film is how it mines the neo-realist tradition for its loose approach to storytelling while adamantly rejecting the usual leaning toward ragged stylistics and downbeat narratives. While the screenplay (which Majidi co-wrote with Mehran Kashani) certainly doesn't skimp on the harsher realities of life (debt, family tensions), there doesn't seem to be much of a drive here to force bleakness down the audience's throat. It also seems strange to refer to a film as deliriously and sumptuously photographed (by cinematographer Tooraj Mansouri) as this as somehow neo-realist. Rosselini would never have created such a gorgeous Technicolor ode to the Italian countryside, for instance; there also wouldn't have been any ostriches.
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Nansun Shi, Essie Davis, Scott Foundas, Majid Majidi and Gillian Armstrong - Monday 16th June 2008 at Sydney Film Festival Sydney Film Prize at the Sydney Film Festival 2008 at Sydney Opera House Sydney, Australia
The Color of Paradise borders on hopeless, with a spiritual message available to those who struggle through it. Unfortunately, the tale of the cursed young Mohammed (Ramezani) is muddled by the subplot of a dying grandmother, a familiar story of a woman trying to let go of life. Zzzzz. Sad and tragic, with but a glimmer of hope at the end.
Continue reading: The Color Of Paradise Review
This is where Baran begins, at a construction site mostly functioning on illegal Afghani immigrants, supervised by the kind but frugal Memar (Mohammad Reza Naji). He hires them because they are cheap and work hard, though government officials are constantly popping by to squash the use of this labor force. Iran isn't the richest country either, and the stream of immigrants grows everyday.
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