Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recommended watch: Movies from middle east

In a previous post, I had tried to list out five comedies that I felt others must see. Here I am making a list of four, from middle east, or Gulf countries, mainly Iran, that I feel are worthy of high recommendation. I really feel bad that I am not including a movie that should have been in this list, because till date I never had an oppertunity to watch full- Majid Majidi's The song of Sparrows. I had seen bits and pieces of this masterpiece, and would recommend it on that experiance alone. But the following movies are also equally great and entertaining. All the movies, except first are having humour as a strong under current.

Osama is not from Gulf, but Afghan. And no, it is not the story of Laden. Osama is a girl, who has to disguise as a boy, when she and her mother are left without a male support to their family in a male dominated Afghanistan ruled by notorious Taliban. Later on she is recruited as a child soldier by Taliban. When found out, she is tried and made to marry an old man with three wives. The title, I feel is meant to be ironical. The movie directed and written by Siddiq Barmak, has attained tremendous critical acclaim and many awards for the realistic portrayal of social situation in Afghanistan.

Offside is an Iranian movie which is a bit similar to Osama. Here a bunch of girls dress as boys to enter the football stadium in Tehran to watch the Iran's World Cup qualifier against Bahrain They are arrested and kept in custody outside the stadium with some policemen guarding them.  When football fever is raging around them, the girls as well as the guards are desperate to get a glimpse of the match. Unlike Osama, the narrative is humorous,very crowd pleasing. Jafar Panahi is the director.

Marooned in Iraq
The name sounds like a Chuck Norris movie, but don't go by it. This is one of the most entertaining movies I have ever watched. It is the story of an eventful, life changing journey by Kurdish singer Mirza and his two sons, from Iranian border into Iraq, in search of his former lover and band member Hannareh. THe movie is madness, where heart takes full control over head. The folk songs in the movie are just marvellous. See it to believe it!

Taste of Cherry

Abbas Kiarostami's masterpiece Taste of cherry can be boring for uninitiated, but if you like some serious stuff that reflects on life and existential perils, I would recommend this one. By serious I don't mean it is high philosophy that goes above the head of the viewer. The movie is very comic in a subtle manner. Mr Badii is roaming around a construction site, for a man to do his job for a pay. He encounters several men, but when he tells about the job, no one wants to do it. His job is to assist him in ending his life. At last an old assistant in a lab agrees. A very laid back movie that takes its own time to evolve, Taste of Cherry will be unforgettable experiance to the viewer.


  1. Yes Song of Sparrows is a very nice film.
    I have seen it.
    You have missed Children from Heaven, which is also a great movie.
    Nice Collection but.

  2. Never watched middle east movies. With your recommendations, I might.

  3. @Abhishek: Thanks. I will definitly watch them. thanks for dropping.

    @Ramesh: Thank you

    @Purba: Try them. They make the best movies of the world in Iran

  4. am a film this post is good for me...iranian films are in a league of their own...luv them. thanks for these ones....

  5. Sounds interesting..Are u a movie buff Harish?. Have noted the names. Will try nd download them.

  6. Heard of Osama not seen it...seen a couple of good ones decades ago but can't remember their names .... one was on the after effects of the revolution on Iranian women...totally fab, Iranian movies are good...I remember my school-days when DD Mumbai used to air Asian movies...saw a lot of thought provoking Chinese, Korean, Japanese even Italian, French Russian movies that way...

  7. Raindrop, ALka, Rek: Thanks, enjoy...