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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

entry arrow8:54 AM | The Film Meme No. 18

[18th of 100]. The first image we see in this wonderful Iranian film from 1997 is that of a battered pair of pink shoes being repaired, an extensive shot going over the opening credits that soon pulls out to reveal the shop and a boy waiting for the shoeman to finish. Those shoes, which will soon be lost, will be a recurring motif, the McGuffin so to speak, for us to observe the ordinary lives in all their big and small dramas of a poor Tehran family -- the boy's, and his little sister [who owns those shoes] and their mother and father. It is a heartbreaking, heartening film that will immediately remind you of De Sica's Bicycle Thieves or the more recent Capernaum, the Lebanese film by Nadine Labaki. What is it about lost things and the hapless children that look for them that allow us uncompromising peeks into troubled societies but with strong humanist agenda? How do lost shoes upend the lives of ordinary people? Films like this in the hands of a lesser filmmaker would be maudlin and manipulative, but Majid Majidi defies that by insisting on a story so earthbound and so culturally specific. I discovered this film in college, my first Iranian film actually, and was so moved by it that I actually made it the centerpiece of an Asian film festival I immediately programmed for our campus film society then. [I got into trouble with school authorities because I also included Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubinee, which somebody protested as pornographic.] What's the film?

For the introduction to this meme, read here.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich