Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Gabbeh is just the second Iranian film ever widely distributed in the U.S. (Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon was the first). A gabbeh is an Iranian carpet produced by the nomadic Ghashghai tribe of southern Iran, comparable to the folk art of American quilts; in the film's opening scenes, an elderly husband and wife travel to a nearby stream to wash their gabbeh, discussing the meaning behind the figures sewn upon it. The rug depicts a woman in blue and a man in red, together on a white horse; suddenly, the woman on the tapestry seems to come to life -- her name too is Gabbeh, and the blue dress she wears is identical to the one worn by the old wife. She proceeds to tell her tragic story: it seems that despite her love for a mysterious stranger on horseback who follows her nomadic family wherever they travel, Gabbeh's father refuses to allow her to marry until a series of stipulations have first been met. Makhmalbaf frames his episodic tale with interludes on the colors of nature. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Gabbeh
There is hardly a composition in the film that couldn't be extracted and framed.
Movies such as this work like meditation or music, to nudge us toward the important.
Makhmalbaf attempts to follow the carpet idea by making his film dreamily romantic and non-realistic. Events seem to leap around in time and space, much like a dream.
Makhmalbaf weaves together different threads into an unusual and intriguing film.
It is the visual imagery of the sheep, the wool being dyed, the rugs being made that take center stage.
This poetic film affirms the knarled beauty of the natural world and the way stories give shape and meaning to life.
This charmingly poetic film is a real surprise coming from Makhmalbaf, whose incendiary and controversial documentaries and features have been banned in his home country.
Has visual eloquence to spare, a rhythm that pulls you along and a sense of yearning not too often encountered in movies.
The movie plays like a mix of documentary and dream; it's part of a cinematic experience that is quite new to Western movie audiences.
Poetic and evocative, but too short at 75 minutes to unroll enough of a story, this gentle film nonetheless revels in the colors and everyday wonders of life.
Audience Reviews for Gabbeh
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