Forming new families after death or divorce is never easy, even with the best of intentions, and the problem knows no geographic boundaries. A straightforward, well-acted and perceptive Iranian film called “The Father” addresses this problem with skill and insight against an exotic background.
The director, Majid Majidi, who was also a co-writer of the film, builds on the seething rage of a 14-year-old named Mehrollah (Hassan Sedighi), who returns to his remote village from the seaside city where he has been working, only to discover that his widowed mother has remarried and moved in with her husband.
Mehrollah, who has seen himself as the man of the family, supporting his mother and sisters, cannot accept the situation, even when told that his new father (Mohammad Kasebi) is, by all accounts, a very decent fellow. And as a flashback shows, this portly, middle-aged, divorced man from a childless marriage was delighted at the prospect of inheriting a family through remarriage.
Complicating Mehrollah’s refusal to accept his new father is the fact that this man is a police officer. Despite the father’s patience, Mehrollah’s anger drives him to contemplate murder, to steal the officer’s pistol and to run off with a friend to the seaside city, where Mehrollah plans to rob his employer.
By this time the enraged father is in hot pursuit. And on the way home, after he captures his wayward son, circumstances arise that define the future of their relationship. The desolation of the film’s village and desert landscapes serves only to underscore powerfully the importance of the psychological nourishment of peaceful, happy family relationships. — NYTimes
Majid Majidi (Persian: مجید مجیدی , born 17 April 1959 in Tehran) is an internationally and critically acclaimed Iranian film director, film producer and screenwriter. Majidi’s films have touched on many themes and genres and he has won many international awards.
Born in an Iranian middle class family, he grew up in Tehran and at the age of 14 he started acting in amateur theater groups. He then studied at the Institute of Dramatic Arts in Tehran.
After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, his interest in cinema brought him to act in various films, most notably Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Boycott in 1985.
As of 2004, Majidi was the only Iranian director who has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with the film Children of Heaven in 1998. He lost the award to the Italian film Life Is Beautiful by Roberto Benigni.
Majidi has directed three other feature films since Children of Heaven: The Color of Paradise… read more