The Colour of Paradise is a real eye-opener, as it shows very clearly that there is a country ofgreat expression and artistic vision lurking beyond the far eastern corner of Europe. Hollywood may be a giant of production, but director/writer Majid Majidi shows that the best craftsmanship often comes in small packages.
The story centres on young Mohammad, and his relationships to his father and family in a very rural, isolated setting. Mohammad unfortunately is blind and his father is extremely ashamed over this. The film opens in Tehran's institute for the blind, it is the end of term, and all the other children are taken home for the holidays.
Mohammad is left there long after the last child has gone. Finally his father arrives, and takes Mohammad back to his village, and the boy is delighted to 'see' his beloved sisters and grandmother again. They are as equally thrilled to see him. However, his father, a widower, has plans to re-marry, and apprentices Mohammad away from the village, to a blind carpenter.
As if to compensate for the boy's blindness, the film is shot in gorgeous colours and textures, using the surrounding natural beauty of Iran's mountains and the vivid colours in the flowers and textiles. The village in which Mohammad feels safe and happy seems bathed in golden light. A beautiful film, well worth seeing for the understated acting and lush scenery, and the deft handling of the complex and conflicting emotions surrounding Mohammad and his father.
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