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Mohammed (Mohsen Ramezani) is an eight-year-old boy who attends a boarding school for the blind in Tehran. At the end of term, all the children go home to spend the holidays with their families - all but Mohammed, whose father Hashem (Hossein Mahjub) is a bitter widower who regards his son as a burden. Eventually, Hashem grudgingly agrees to take Mohammed back to the family farm in Northern Iran, where he's greeted with joy by his grandmother (Salime Feizi) and two sisters. Mohammed is happy on the farm, but meanwhile Hossein, who plans soon to marry again, is wondering how to get rid of him for good.

"The case for Iranian cinema being the most vibrant in the world at the moment grows even stronger with the release of Majid Majidi's magnificent film. Like Majidi's superb Children Of Heaven and countryman Abbas Kiarostami's The White Balloon, this starts with a child's view and expands its vision to encompass the emotional complexities of the adult world. With supreme story-telling skill and without resorting to false sentiment, Majidi unfolds this achingly beautiful film through the sightless eyes of young Mohammed whose other senses are so acute we feel that he can see into the souls of those around him. Moments such as the scene in which he runs his fingers over his sister's face, sensing she has grown and another in which he demonstrates amazing speed and skill with Braille are as touching as you'll see anywhere. By dividing the focus evenly between Mohammed and his father we're given insight into wider social and cultural issues at play which resonate deeply in the frequently caustic comments of Mohammed's magnificent grandmother. The Colour Of Paradise is a film to inspire us to look at our own world with new eyes and is one of the year's movie highlights. A final word: The Colour Of Paradise was originally classified with an absurd M rating by the Office Of Film And Literature Classification. The decision was overturned on appeal and it's now classified PG, but at a cost of several thousands of dollars for distributor Potential Films. This is yet another disgraceful chapter in the OFLC's catalogue of appalling judgements."
Richard Kuipers

"It's hard to know what to say about Majid Majidi's films - or rather, it's all too easy to compare him unfavorably to more demanding Iranian filmmakers such as Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami, who share some of his themes and techniques. Like them, he often shoots in the Iranian countryside with a non-professional cast; like them he focuses a good deal on children; and like some of their films, The Colour Of Paradise has traces of religious allegory, starting out from the the visible, physical world and then hinting at a further, spiritual dimension. It's true that Majidi's work seems comparatively simple and conventional - and his attempts to get at the viewer's emotions can be pretty shameless, as when he shoots scenes in treacly slow motion, or repeatedly reduces his child performers to tears. Still, slow and obvious as the movie may be, its careful 'simplicity' works as a style in its own right. Majidi tells the story in easy-to-read close-to-medium shots, rarely containing more than two or three major elements; he makes sure that his amateur actors provide open, self-explanatory facial expressions - smiling, weeping, frowning. Some of the more artful touches recall Makhmalbaf's recent films The Silence and Gabbeh, for example; the almost subliminal use of particular recurring sounds such as bird calls, or the frequent heightened close-ups of hands stretching out to touch an object or another human being. Every time this happens, it's like an almost magical event: the implication is that the beauty of the world is a miracle that needs to be physically felt and continually rediscovered, as if for the first time. Something of that beauty is certainly there in The Colour Of Paradise - even if the film doesn't often demonstrate the kind of surprising, fresh vision that would allow an audience to rediscover it for themselves."
Jake Wilson

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Rang-e khoda

CAST: Mohsen Ramezani, Hossein Mahjoub, Salime Feizi. Elham Sharifi, Farahnaz Safari

DIRECTOR: Majid Majidi

PRODUCER: Mehdi Karimi

SCRIPT: Majid Majidi


EDITOR: Hassan Hassandust

MUSIC: Alireza Kohandairy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Asghar Nezhadimani

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 7, 2000 (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, ACT)

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