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The Mirror (1997)

Cast: Mina Mohammad Khani, Mina Mohammad Khani, Kadem Mojdehi, more...
Director: Jafar Panahi, Jafar Panahi
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Studio: Kino
Genre: Foreign, Middle East, Experimental/Avant-Garde, Iran
Running Time: 95 min.
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

The story is rather thin, but the neat twists make this Iranian drama, of a feisty little girl trying to find her way home, interesting. The girl's journey begins when she exits school and discovers that her mother is not outside awaiting her. Worried, the child, garbed in traditional clothes and sporting a cast, calls home, but no one answers. Though she doesn't know her own address, she is pretty sure she can find her way and so boards what looks like the correct bus. During the journey she watches the people around her. When they finally arrive at the terminus, she realizes that she has gone the wrong way. A friendly driver puts matters to rights, but by this time the child has become petulant and it is at this time that the course of the film surprisingly transcends itself to become a film about making a film. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Interesting Film by jmwagner66 May 14, 2013 - 6:00 PM PDT
I'll agree with the previous reviewer's comment that the lead actress' voice is hard to listen to. And yet, I found the film fascinating especially with it's look at what it is to make a film in Iran.
While some may not understand what it is he's protesting, the facts that he's serving a 6 year sentence in Iran and is banned by that government from making films for 20 years, show that his protests are being understood in the country.

The part of the film that makes you question whether this is documentary or narrative is excellent film making regardless of any political messages it may contain.

Seven Years Bad Luck by talltale May 7, 2005 - 4:25 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
One of the more tedious movies I can recall, THE MIRROR stars the little girl from the Iranian "The White Balloon" as yet another pushy, obnoxious child whose whiny, piercing voice could drive you to drink or worse. Director Jafar Panahi shoots traffic and more traffic, people attempting to cross the street at busy intersections, and lots of dialog from the "extras" in a film that would like us to believe it's holding a mirror up to modern Iran. Whatever Iran may be, it's got to be more interesting than this.

There's a surprise midway through that leads to even more traffic (this time shot from a different perspective) and more whining. I wish I could admire the director's attempt to show us life, faux-life and then fake faux-life, plus a look at the Iranian movie scene, woman's place in society, and treatment of the elderly by their children. I realize that in a fundamentalist state such as Iran, one cannot critique much without suffering the consequences, but that's no excuse for showing us so little and taking so long to do it. Panahi's other films ("Crimson Gold", "The Circle") have been far better; it's easy to understand why it took this one seven years to reach us.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.43)
7 Votes
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