As I have mentioned in my post "Casi casi", there are some nations that have been producing extraordinary films these days and now I would like to tell you about one such.
If you are a moviegoer (again, I do not consider Cinema Cities movies) and pay minimal attention to quality films, you surely know how popular contemporary Iranian filmmaking is. If I should pick and name only one director from this deeply unhuman and still much more human country than ours, it would have to be no other than Majid Majidi. I saw several of his makings: Children of Heaven (Bacheha-ye-Aseman, 1997), The Color of Paradise (Rang-e Khoda, 1999), Baran (2001), and still have some that I must see. Majidi knows how to portray children and through their eyes, the society and the world around them and he clearly showed his genius in "The Song of Sparrows" (Avaze Gonjeshk-ha, 2008).
There are two main characters, a man (Karim) and his son. The man depicts more of the material world, the boy more of the ideals of this world. They both have their big and smaller plans, they have their ideas and intentions, and they have the strength and belief to bring them to reality. But when they get close to this reality - well, that's when the world enters and shatters many dreams. But, it leaves still many dreams alive and does not distort their truly and deeply good, human self inside.
One thing I love about Majidi (and many other Iranian directors) is that he works with non-professional staff instead of trained actors. This proves almost always brilliant - these people really live the circumstances, they are truer than most of the trained actors we see. Here, they are the sparrows - the small, ordinary creatures that still have dreams and that still long for a happy and meaningful life.
I recommend this film to everyone: to those who are used to quality movies - you will not be disappointed, and to those who think that American films they see really have any meaning - watch this and you will understand what filmmaking is really all about. After all, we are all sparrows.