Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Color of Paradise - Majid Majidi

It is hard to consider someone as your enemy once you realize he is a human being, with feelings and needs similar to yours.

The Color of Paradise presents an image of Iran different from what we are used to see in the Western media, partly because the story is located in a rural area instead of Tehran. Therefore, those who think that Iran is a bunch of ugly cities surrounded by the desert will be able to see the colorful nature of around the Caspian Sea.

More important is the fact that The Color of Paradise presents Iranians as human beings instead of urban lumpen hanging around the streets, or women dressed and covered in black agitating their Korans. Apparently, in the rural areas of Iran, women still dress in colors and men fall sincerely in love.

The Color of Paradise tells the story of Mohammad, a blind boy and his family. An important detail is that the child who plays Mohammad is really blind, which makes his appearances dramatic and charged of emotion.

The Color of Paradise is also interesting from a theological perspective: Mohammad’s father feels ashamed about his son blindness, and even Mohammad thinks that nobody loves him because he is blind. Both of them question God’s “decision” of creating blind people. The debate between Mohammad and his father and God is won by God (obviously) at the end of the movie. Researching for this post, I discovered that Majid Majidi is a religious person. According to Wikipedia, he even declined to participate in a Danish film festival after the publication of the Mohammad cartoons.

The Color of Paradise does not contain hidden messages against the ayatollahs' dictatorship or any hint about secularism in Iran. But it does something else: it presents Iranians as human beings.

The Color of Paradise is available for free in youtube here.

And here is the trailer:

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