Thursday, July 07, 2005

DVD watch/The Joy of Madness

Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf became internationally renown for her features The Apple and Blackboards. The daughter of Moshen Makhmalbaf (Salaam Cinema), she is one of few female directors in the country. That's changed now. Her 14-year-old sister Hana, literally following in her footsteps, made a documentary about Samira's pre-production saga in Afghanistan as she prepared to shoot At Five In The Afternoon. The obstacles she encounters are enormous, the situations surreal and often hysterically funny. Hana captured her older sister's fiery temperament with candid humour and visual intelligence while also capturing everyday life in a land where it seems to be constant erupting into moments of unpredictability, at least to the eyes of a westerner. The Joy of Madness debuted at the Venice Film Festival in 2003 and marks a new addition to the Iranian film-making dynasty. A joy to watch.

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