Thursday, August 23, 2012

52. The Apple (1998) *

Samira Makhmalbaf's directorial debut was met with critical acclaim and screened at film festival around the world.  Made when she was only 17 years old, the Apple, tells the real life story of two 12 year old girls who were locked up by their father and blind mother.  The two girls cannot speak and have not been let out for 11 years.  The neighbours therefore write to social welfare who take the girls and wash them.  The social worker returns to find the girls locked up again and, so in turn, locks the father up in place of the girls.  During this time the girls go out to play in the streets.  

The characters in the film are played by the real family involved in the case and by members of the Director's family.  The director Samira has stated on the family's official website:

The Apple,  which was originally conceived as a documentary picture, provided me with the pretext to carry out research on the issue of how much playing in the alleys and streets, which is the much exclusive prerogative of boys, helps men become more social than these women who do not have the chance of playing in the alleys and streets.  The film was also a means of discovering parent's motives when they act as their children's prison guards.  I also wanted to know how it is possible that the people in the neighbourhood can remain unaware of a virtual prison in their vicinity, or how they could remain indifferent when they became aware of the catastrophe.  and frankly I haven't found the answer to this last question. 

A part of the Iranian new wave movement, the Director similarly to her  sister and mother takes children as the focus to explore questions of social exclusion and gender. An interesting and promising film about horrific excesses of gender discrimination gone mad.

No comments:

Post a Comment