Young Mohammed (Mohsen Ramezani) is blind but has acute hearing: his receptiveness is in contrast with his father (Hossein Mahjoub), a widower, who wishes to offload him to prevent the boy standing in the way of his planned marriage.

Blindness theme furthers Iranian renaissance

8-year-old Mohamed is blind. We first see him in a special school in Tehran, left alone when the other kids have been collected by their families for the long summer holidays. Eventually Mohamed's father turns up, and the pair make the long journey back to the farm where Mohamed's aged grandmother and his sisters pick flowers and extract the dye for wool. But the father wants to re-marry, and Mohamed is a liability...

Majid Majidi's beautiful film is yet another Iranian movie about the world of children. The story may be small, but the emotions are vast - scenes like the one in which the blind boy rescues a baby bird which has fallen from its nest resonate with simple beauty. The climax, featuring a swollen river and a rickety bridge, is nail-biting stuff. Mohsen Ramezani, the child actor, is astonishing.

Margaret's Comments:
This award-winning film from Iran has, like most films from that country, an ability to immerse itself in an impressive credibility and in the texture of its culture. From the braille lessons through the young boy's painstaking saving of a baby bird, to the feeding of the chickens at his grannie's home and the reading of the wheat, this film is marked by the texture of detail, amazing performances and a stunning climax. Iran is currently producing some of the best cinema in the world and this is an example of that.