Director: Majid Majidi
Cast: Hossein Abedin, Zaahra Bahrami
Mandwa Film Club of Lok Lok virsa unspooled film ‘Baran’ which dazzled without glamorous and gloss on Saturday.
Released in 2001-2002, ‘Baran’ takes us to suburbs of Tehran on a construction site where the world is filled with smoke and cement dust. Out of this darkness and drabness appear illegal Afghan refugees who have been hired to work just to earn the basic necessity of life (in this case merely food).
Iran like Pakistan, has been paying a heavy price in hosting millions of refugees from across the border. And here, apart from other manual hardships, the labour carries heavy bags of cement and concrete up makeshift ramps. They slip, they fall, they break their bones but they work like asses. Women are not allowed here. As the sequences unfold, the audiences discover the virtues of mankind: desperation, old age miseries, greed, debts and deception out of which appears care, consideration, feeling and fondness. However, Time has passed and the bus has gone.
‘Baran’ shows us a world which is barren, shallow and empty. It is dead cold, grim and sad. Apart from Majid Majidi's powerful direction giving us a documentary-like ambiance, combined with naturalistic performance by two leading actors. The credible camerawork plays remarkably well with natural sunlight with proper timing. This lets you feel the chill, the fire and finally the rain.
‘Baran’ is not a commodity like commercial cinema. Its realism makes you uncomfortable as you feel the pain the characters are going through. ‘Baran’ won numerous awards for direction and script at Fajir, Montreal and Toronto Film Film Festivals.