Narrative is a mere prop in this film. From the start you're drawn into depths created by a slow accretion of experiences that you participate in, not as the spectator of a film but a follower of souls.
A complete and satisfying miracle.
This movie is an intricate weaving of a multitude of emotions - guilt, love, remorse, trauma and melancholy. The storytelling is not linear, however, follows deeper and deeper into this weaving. An elegant movie that you shouldn't miss!
This film is very dark, exposing our imperfect, corrupt nature; this tone is maintained throughout the whole experience. With this in mind and the fact that it is not the easiest film to follow (it left me confused a couple of times) I can absolutely recommend it - this is brutally honest cinema. The scenery is spectacular and some shots are just breathtaking.
It's great to see such well-crafted and solid films from that area. The plot will not leave you breathless, some of the symbolism is not as deep as the director wanted and there are some awkward moments, but the lead actor is exceptional, the characters distant but engaging and the cinematography beautiful. Considering this is his first feature film, Batin Ghobadi definitely shows a lot of promise.
A powerful movie that dragged me deep down into the escalating narrative. Very well done the study of characters; the cinematography is essential, properly rough, as the Tigris and desert rock of Iraqi Kurdistan are. I felt empathy all along memories, sickness, loneliness, fear, sense of guilt and the inevitable final shot at redemption. I simply worship this middle eastern new vague of contemporary filmmaking.
So happy to see such an accomplished film coming out of Iraq. Gives me hope that we Americans didn't destroy absolutely everything in our asinine warmongering. Incredible performance by the lead actor. Great to see the stunning scenery. Not sure about the claims that it is far from a Hollywood film. The rule of three still figures prominently.
It's an example of a totally different narrative than the one offered by the formulaic Hollywood. Understated, unspoken and stark it's a film worth watching to experience the minds and hearts of people who are as different from Western civilisation as it gets.