The White Balloon

  • 1995
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Children's, Comedy, Drama

Those who believe that art can't flourish under a repressive regime will have some difficulty accounting for this utterly seductive Iranian fable. Seven-year-old Razieh (Aida Mohammadkhani) wants to purchase a large white goldfish for her family's New Year's Day celebration and with the help of her older brother, Ali (Mohsen Kalifi), convinces her reluctant...read more

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Those who believe that art can't flourish under a repressive regime will have some difficulty accounting for this utterly seductive Iranian fable. Seven-year-old Razieh (Aida Mohammadkhani) wants to purchase a large white goldfish for her family's New Year's Day celebration and with the help of her older brother, Ali (Mohsen Kalifi), convinces her reluctant mother (Fereshteh Sadr Orfani) to give her the money needed to buy the fish before the stores close that evening. En route, Razieh loses the money but asks the uncaring shopkeeper to reserve the special goldfish while she looks. An elderly woman helps her locate the valuable note, but it's fallen through a sidewalk grate. Raziah appeals to various strangers for help, but it's Ali who eventually saves the day, borrowing a stick from a balloon salesman so he can poke it through the grate and lift the note. Written by Abbas Kiarostami and directed by first-time feature filmmmaker Jafar Panahi, this charming movie features a fine, natural performance from Aida Mohammadkhani as the strong-willed Razieh and paints a richly detailed portrait of life on the margins in contemporary Iran. Some critics claim to detect a political allegory here, but Panahi and Kiarostami are mainly concerned with elaborating a child's-eye view of a mysterious city — one reminiscent of the classic French featurette THE RED BALLOON, an obvious inspiration. This international crowd-pleaser won the 1995 Camera d'Or at Cannes.

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  • Released: 1995
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Those who believe that art can't flourish under a repressive regime will have some difficulty accounting for this utterly seductive Iranian fable. Seven-year-old Razieh (Aida Mohammadkhani) wants to purchase a large white goldfish for her family's New Year… (more)

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