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Iran, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Journey to Iran)

Director: Dariush Mehrjui

The latest project from veteran Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui is a contemporary fable about the redemptive power of the spirit. Mahmud (Homayun Eskandari) is a middle-aged poet and writer who returns to his place of birth in the Bagh Damavand to write a book. His best efforts at concentration are thwarted by interruptions, writer's block causes him much conster­nation. Amidst a lush garden Mahmud is struck by a pear tree—now gnarled and barren—which raises memories of his childhood and youth. The ancient gar­dener reminds him that of all the trees in the garden, only the pear tree has not born fruit. Through the pear tree, Mahmud is drawn back into his childhood and to the first great love of his life. His mental journey helps him to review his life's work and discover the meaning of the pear tree's silence.

The symbolic conjunction between the creative powers of the poet and those of nature form only one of the many entry points into this miraculous film. Like the garden's own fragility, Dariush Mehrjui constructs a cin­ematic language that is both subtle and poignant. Mahmud Kalari's cinematography captures the garden's ambience such that the location rises trom a mere back­drop and becomes an integral part of the action itself.

See also...


Bemani Iran ... Recalling the searing film The Circle (MIFF 2001), this courageous film from Dariush Mehrjui (The Pear Tree, MIFF 1999) examines the tragedy of Iranian women struggling to lead normal ... More »


Adapted from George Buchner's play, 'Woyzeck', The Postman is the second film by Daryush Mehrjui, whose first film, The Cow, is also an entry in this year's Festival. ... The postman of a quiet ... More »


Dariush Mehrjui's first film, The Cow, was made independently in Iran, and its success at the 1971 Venice Film Festival has given Iranian film-making a stature long sought by small countries with ... More »


This is the first film released in Iran from director Dariush Mehrjui since his earlier films, The Cowand The Postman, The Cycle looks critically at corruption in the medical services provided by the ... More »


Leila is a beautiful young woman from an affluent background. Just married to a doting husband, Reza, Leila is confronted with the painful reality of being unable to bear children. Reza, contrary to ... More »


Following Farhad Mehranfar's Paper Airplanes (also screening as part of Journey to Iran), the filmmaker returned to the region of his birth for a cinematic study of a timeless community of people ... More »

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