The Gardener (2013)
The Gardener is a poetic film made using documentary-style techniques via the cameras of father and son (the Makhmalbafs) who go to Israel to learn about a religion (Baha'i faith) that they don't know much about due to its taboo status in the country of both the filmmakers' and the faith's birth - Iran. Mohsen Makhmalbaf follows a gardener who works at the Baha'i gardens to understand who he is and why he is there. Meanwhile his son Maysam rejects the concept of religion all together and goes out to Jerusalem where he comes across the sacred sites of Jews and Christians where he finds many similarities with the Islamic society he grew up in. The film questions the necessity of religious philosophy in this day and age and raises many questions from both angles through the two opposing characters. Throughout the film, questions are only asked, but no specific answers are given. It is left to the audience to think, reflect, search and find a satisfying and personal answer for themselves. (c) official site … More
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Critic Reviews for The Gardener
Makhmalbaf's tone is thoughtful and becalmed, the imagery often poetic.
An intimate, discursive inquiry into religious belief that opens to include questions about cinema ...
Delicately works to see how beautiful the world can look when people embrace each other's differences.
It is by turns poetic, impressionistic, metaphorical and even a bit trippy - without satisfying such genre basics as structure, depth and resolution.
Images and metaphors whimsicially combine in a fine, fast-flowing documentary introducing the Baha'i faith.
With their civilized discussion and amusing asides about the making and marketing of docus, the Makhmalbafs succeed in entertaining and engaging auds who are interested in the question of why people seek religion.
The screen blooms with beauty: Makhmalbaf and his family of fellow filmmakers have always filled their screens with rapturous imagery.
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