Monday, January 3, 2011

"The SONG of SPARROWS" Iranian Film Review. Do SPARROWS really SING?


Mother Earth is not evenly divided.

There are fertile countries and there are barren lands.

There are high places where the peacocks strut

and slums where the lowly sparrows flutter around.

In life, there will always be a caste distinction and a discrimination of certain creeds and breeds.

It all depends on whether you are born at the right place, at the right time.

Fate never dealt with a fair hand.

The only way anyone can do to make the world a better place is to accept things as they are,

to work harder and to spread a little sunshine.

HAPPINESS is an aesthetic taste of the peace, love and joy in the world

expressed through the actions of another.

Joy is the very essence of life circulating

and pouring through the body

and filling your heart with the world.

Poetic dramatization of life?

“When all comes to all,

the most precious element in life is wonder.

Love is a great emotion,

and power is power.

But both love and power are based on wonder.”

~D.H. Lawrence

This is what Iranian director Majid Majidi, who also wrote this exquisite film with Mehran Kashani, is attempting to convey.

He highlights how the most important things in life, are the simple things we may sometimes neglect.

“THE SONG OF SPARROWS” is a touching parable about family and commitment, hardship and eventual redemption told in stark reality, with a profound wisdom.

Film director Majid Majidi invites us on his journey of humanity, the ostrich and God.

A sparrow is not a lark nor a canary, so can it sing?

There are strong moods throughout, a grim reminder exuding poetic remnants from ROBERT HARDY’s “THE DARKLING THRUSH”.

This metaphor may be Muslim in nature, but the teaching comes straight from the heart.

This film has a soul.

It is a portrait of one Iranian family on how they cope with life and living, of loving your family, friends and neighbors.

It is a film of warmth, virtues and dignity, defined by its humanity and adherence to tradition, in the face of changing modernization.

It injects a potent question:

How can anyone maintain his goodness in a self centered modern world?

This film cajoles us to examine our own existence, irregardless of religious affiliations, and savor life’s simple beauty.

The Story:

Karim (Reza Naji) is a dedicated ostrich farmer living in the Iranian countryside.

His wife is Narges (Maryam Akbari) and theirs is a loving relationship.

Until one fine day, a wayward ostrich escapes into the mountains, he promptly loses his job and becomes financially strapped.

Money is scarce and becomes an issue when he has to replace his daughter’s broken hearing aid.

His filial young son Hossein also tries to aid the family by buying goldfishes to breed in a local well hoping that they will multiply for later sale. Overzealousness causes this plan to fail.

Karim then travels to the city to repair his elder daughter’s hearing aid but finds himself being mistaken for a motorcycle taxi driver.

Thus begins his new profession: ferrying people and goods through the dangerous traffic.

But the people he meets and the material goods that he deals thereafter change his perspectives in life.

He becomes materialistic, selfish and intolerant,much to the distress of his wife and children. He has lost his sense of humility.

There’s one poignant scene, when Karim learns that his wife has given away a battered blue door, he angrily goes to reclaim it and carries the door home on his back.

Behold the magnificent colors of Karim’s lonely trudge carrying the door, juxtaposed against a sombre landscape. It’s an aesthetic albeit poetic pleasure of one man’s persistence spread before our eyes.

The family then rallies in hope to restore the values that he once cherished.

The acting is superb, touching and uplifting.

Karim’s world is a world of the lowly sparrows, depicting the struggles of the common man and how survival in this forlorn world is sometimes fraught with desperation and harsh realities.

Every sparrow has a song to sing.

And in “THE SONG OF SPARROWS”, it is essentially Karim’s melody.

The advertising headlines proudly announce:


I couldn’t agree more.

No comments:

Post a Comment