Although incomplete (censored), it's true what most reviews tell about it: it still gives a strong idea of what Makhmalbaf wanted to tell with his movie. It's even more fascinating how the censorship cut the sound from a scene, leaving just the video and resulting in an even stronger image of powerlessness against the state and human nature.
There was something unsettling and rigid in the characters' monologues and the actors' delivery, which I don't think stems from censorship. Perhaps the agenda overtaking storytelling? That said, it was still a remarkable story that resonates despite the butchering. Does not make for happy watching: a trigger for politically-induced anxieties of a thinking and feeling human.
The missing thirty minutes removed by censors leaves some jumps in the story, but Makhmalbaf's views on violence in the revolution are still present. It's truly amazing to see how a filmmaker's stamp on their work can be seen even with large chunks missing.
Human tragedy and hope. A lot of wisdom is packed inside. 'Look at people as a dynamic and ever changing entity. However, this change is so slow that it's impossible to detect over a short time. The character of a nation is similar to that of a person. Sometimes it's kind & in love, sometimes insane and mad, sometimes hopeful & calm, sometimes in despair. And unfortunately sometimes it commits suicide.'
Moving and politically charged, this melancholic sojourn of the Iranian Revolution suffers from huge censorship gaps but is nonetheless a formally elegant and intellectually stimulating endeavor. The gentle use of wide-angle lens recalls some great Italian films and the color photography, the frames and the music make for a rewarding experience. Astute also on its subversive anthropological perspective.
Masterpiece of one of the masters of cinema, brilliant performances, Iran truly is the birthplace of minimalistic cinema, this movie is a perfect example of the power of story telling...extremely powerful dialogues, every frame every expression shows to depict the empathy and connection the director has with his own society and culture...a film maker using the power of cinema to its highest potential, with no budget.