23 May 2010 | p_radulescu
Great Humanity Pacing the Movie, Almost Unbearable
The Iranian movies continue to astonish me. Beside Kiarostami, the number of Iranian directors making great movies is overwhelming. It is one of the most important movie schools, and the most amazing is that each of their movies is so firmly implanted in the Iranian universe while speaking out universal values.
It was by chance that I watched Bashu today. I had found it on youTube, I had noted the address, to access it later. I decided this morning to see it, just to discover that my notice with the youTube address was lost! I gave a search on the web for Iranian movie with a boy who lost his family and I found it again! A ten years boy looses all his family when the village is bombed during the Iran-Iraq war. He escapes jumping on a cargo truck where he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he is in an unknown place where the landscape is totally different from what the boy knows. Unknown people speak an unknown language and look very different from him. Impossible to understand anyone, impossible to be understood.
No wonder: the boy is from a province in the Southern part of Iran, near the Persian Gulf, and speaks Arabic, while the region where he has arrived is in the North, near the Caspian Sea, where people speak a very remote dialect of Farsi.
But this we'll know much later, probably after the end of the movie, when we start to look for comments and reviews. During the movie we are absorbed in a universe of fantastic that calls in mind the stories of Eliade.
What follows is a great story of love: maternal love and filial love. A woman with two kids of her own, initially reticent, will learn to love the boy like a mother, while the boy, initially just scared, will learn to love his new mother. And this unfolds despite the absolute barrier of language. Development of love, marked by moments when each of the two, the woman and the boy, just realize, with pain and joy, the intensity of the developing sentiment.
Apparently a simple story, actually told with great cinematic finesse. A story rendered with a perfect economy of means: there is a lot that happens there on the screen, while nothing is superfluous, while each scene comes exactly when need is, no earlier, no later. And all the time you feel that the director is in perfect control.
And above all, the great humanity that paces the movie, almost unbearable!