How fully can a film-maker use the resources available to him/her through the medium of film? : sound, color, time, as: fictional narrative, historical document, political statement? I have not seen an hour and 15 minutes used so fully (from those elements) to tell a (at first glance) simple story, I think, ever. Scenes mirror each other, become a veiled visual reference for things, or take on a symbolic weight within the story but not in that universal way, but the film teaches you what the symbols mean as you watch it, through an accumulation of visual associations and motifs, which is appropriate since this is almost like a folk-tale. On top of that there is probably a lot of political subtext in this movie that I totally missed, being a Westerner. Soon, I will re-watch with the audio commentary turned on. This movie reminded me of what I love so much about Makhmalbaf’s other films, his sincerity and directness in approach is what makes otherwise ridiculous ideas actually work (pulling colors from the sky?). Then, he pairs this child-like directness with the complexities of modern problems. The way this movie was filmed was almost like Makhmalbaf had never seen a film before, and went out to make the first film ever, having no precedent to guide him. But obviously that is not true: it also reminded me a bit of Paradjanov’s Color of Pomegranates.