White Balloon, The

Director: Jafar Panahi

Jafar Panahi’s prize winning and auspicious debut feature is a wonderful slice of life drama of universal appeal. A time before the start of Norouz, the Iranian new year, a little girl, Razieh, goes out to buy a goldfish, despite her family’s reluctance. On her way, wanting to see what’s bad for her to see, a snake charmer appropriates her money. Thus begins a frantic pursuit where she explores forbidden territories, meeting new people and unexpected adventures. Razieh’s search to recuperate the lost bank note conveys an unmistakable flavour of life in Tehran today, and is winningly played out by a cast of carefully chosen actors, keenly abserved by Farzad Jowdat’s photography. This charming and suspenseful modern fairy tale is boosted by the touch of scriptwriter Abbas Kiarostami, with whom Panahi worked as a first assistant on Through the Olive Trees. The White Balloon has enchanted festival audiences and was justifiably awarded the Camera d’Or this year in Cannes

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