Willow Tree

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Read about this film in Cyn Collins’s Daily Planet review, “21 films in 11 days.”

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Director: MAJID MAJIDI

Recent tensions between the two countries have made it harder than ever for Iranian films to find their way to U.S. cinemas.The latest offering from esteemed director Majidi (Children of Heaven, The Color of Paradise) underlines just how much we’re missing.

Aging scholar Yusuf has been blind for most of his life, until he travels to France for a cornea operation that restores his sight. The apparent miracle reveals an unexpected dark side when he discovers that the sight of his beloved wife doesn’t appeal to him nearly as much as a young acquaintance does. By the director of The Color of God and Baran, his first film since 2000, a middle- class Iranian setting from his earlier underprivileged kids milieu. Mystical Persian poets — Hafez, Shams, Rumi — and what they have to say about love crop up in Majid’s ironic story, with the director’s signature religious overtones. “A beautiful film, both simple and profound … Developing a story of erotic fixation in a cinema that can’t show so much as an ankle or a shoulder is challenging, but Majidi pulls it off with panache.” – Salon.com

IRAN • 2005 • 96 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: MAJID MAJIDI