The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid) (1995)
Iranian filmmaker Jafar Pinahi's debut feature The White Balloon tells the story of Razieh (Aida Mohammadkhani), a seven-year-old girl intent on buying a new goldfish in time for Tehran's annual New Year's Day festivities (in Iranian culture, the goldfish is a symbol of life). Upon badgering her mother into giving her a 500-toman banknote, Razieh heads off to the marketplace alone; it is her first real experience away from her parents' watchful eyes, and the excitement and wonder she feels is palpable. Told in real time, the film's sensitive portrayal of Razieh's wide-eyed misadventures superbly conveys the impact which an otherwise unremarkable chain of events can indelibly leave upon the life of a child. Her struggle to prove her independence is dramatically undercut when she loses the banknote not once but twice, but her spirit and ingenuity nevertheless remain indefatigable. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid)
By putting itself in sync with the rhythms of everyday life, it offers a reminder that the simplest forms of filmmaking can be the most satisfying.
We need to fall in love with Razieh to see the film properly, and we do.
Panahi has much the same kind of talent, a concern to make his film a kind of home for its characters, but he has not yet found [Kiarostami's] secret, how to find and hold the still point of the turning world.
Raziah takes everything at face value, forcing us to look again at people and situations we would immediately judge as good or bad -- reason enough to see this film.
Panahi brings film back to its elemental magic.
There are LONG stretches of... well, real time.
In an era when ethnic hatred turns groups against each other, it is salutary to come across a film about universal qualities linking people from different cultures.
[Mohammadkhani] has no screen presence and more over was about as much fun to listen to as someone scraping their fingers down a blackboard.
Explores childhood on its own terms, with great respect and an unerring sense of truth.
Without it ever being said, we get to meet and deeply appreciate some of the Iranian people who never make the news.
Audience Reviews for The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid)
It was brilliant, specially the simplicity of the movie, It is about a girl who sets out to buy a goldfish, but things happen on the way.
This is a very slow paced movie. The plot is thin in terms and it frustrated me in the beginning with distractive style. However it is quite funny on the surface.
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