The White Balloon
Directed by Jafar Panahi
Abbas Kiarostami, who wrote this film, has been featured on the List two times already as a director. I am desperately trying to connect with this guy, but so far I haven't had much luck. This was definitely a step in the right direction, but I was still hoping for something a bit more impressive.
Seven year old Razieh (who is truly one of the cutest kids I have ever seen in a movie) desperately wants her mother to buy her a new goldfish for the Iranian New Year. She nags her mother until she is finally given the family's last 500 toman bank note, on the condition that she brings home the change. Predictably, the course of buying a fish never did run smooth.
I usually dislike films starring children, but this little girl was precious. I want to find her and buy her a fish myself. I did find this movie a little heavy handed with its metaphors and symbolism. The loss of innocence theme always feels a bit tired to me and I wish we would all stop using balloons to symbolize things. Can we all agree to retire that trope, along with the line "we've got company?"
Still, it was only eighty five minutes and had its share of cute moments, so there are worse ways to spend your time.
The story unfolds in real time.