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One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Gabbeh is an epic tale of the forbidden passion that shapes the legend of a magical carpet.
A folkloric carpet (Gabbeh), picturing a man and a woman riding away on horseback, is the prized possession of a nomadic elderly couple. When they sit to wash it on the bank of a creek, a beautiful young woman suddenly emerges from the carpet to join them. Once held hostage by the endless restraints of the family that fashioned the carpet, she reveals the secret of the carpet lies within the mysterious black-clad rider on the white horse. Month after month, season after season, he had followed her family from afar, always present, always waiting, howling to her songs of love longing for her to run away with him.
Director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's masterpiece is a brilliantly colorful, profoundly romantic ode to beauty, nature, love and art.
Top Customer Reviews
Following backward through the courtship and lives of an old couple, the director presents a tale of passion and verve. The quavery voice of the old man charms as he drifts from chiding his wife at one moment to trekking happily back though time with her. His dotage is both comic and touching. She is well drawn, fulfilling her duties, with a mixture of love and chagrin.
Weaving is the allegory central to this tale, and it is used deftly at many levels: thus the character "Gabbeh". She is both the personification of the carpet which the old couple are washing, as the carpet is indeed representative of the tapestry which their life has become. The word Gabbeh also refers to the kind of course and colorful carpet woven by the Qashqa'i nomads in this story, and the girl, "Gabbeh", is also the woman as a youth. And yet for all this twining, it is a simple story of powerful longing, set in contrast to the breathtaking landscape, and to the daily acts of work and duty. In one scene, the loving and lovelorn uncle, (played by a man known not for acting, but for his talent as a real-life dyer) cries out "Life is color!" Gabbeh replies, "Love is color!"
The longing for love is universal, as is the twarting of it by convention and duty. Well worth seeing, if for no other reason than to get acquainted with a very ancient people, in a very ancient land. But the color . . . wow!
Gabbeh is a beautifully simple yet deceptively complex film and i would rather recommend more than one viewings to get in depth of the story and the characters. First viewing is bound to confuse the audience. Whether this girl "Gabbeh" really exists?? Or is it just a fantasy of the old man and woman washing the rug?? These are few of the questions that will be answered once you delve deeper in the breathtakingly beautiful world of Gabbeh!!
Gabbeh is a must see for any film buff looking for meaningful and great cinema. Also recommended Abbas Kiarostami's "Taste of cherry", "The wind will carry us", Majid Majidi's "Color of paradise", "Children of heaven" and Makhmalbaf's "The cyclist".
I bought this movie used, and was amused that there is a "youth restricted viewing--must be 17 or older" sticker on it. I guess that's due to the "forbidden passion" mentioned on the back of the box. However, the passion of this story is of the fairy-tale or old-fashioned kind; there is absolutely no sex, nudity, or anything offensive of any sort!
I would recommend this movie for anyone who loves a magical story. Don't be put off by the subtitles--they're simple and sparse, and well-written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gabbeh is an exquisitely beautiful film and no more difficult to watch in its timeshifts than any number of classics of the avant-garde of the sixties and seventies in Europe and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by David
Excellent cinematography...captures the incredible colors in nature and beauty and simple elegance of patterns between the weaving of Gabbeh rugs and the weavers lives. Read morePublished 13 months ago by S. Hamilton
I have loved this movie for years: it is poetic in conception and in realization -- there's a touch of genius in the way the film captures the interwoven story across the years. Read morePublished on June 13, 2014 by Happy Reader
Gabbeh is a movie that carves in relief the terrible consequences of the way of living in those lands. Read morePublished on September 7, 2012 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
I wish the script had also been washed away in that creek!
Although considered a classic of Iranian cinema, GABBEH fell flat for me. Read more
The film Gabbeh is one that stands out to me. The story is interesting because it keeps the audience wondering who the characters are and where they are coming from. Read morePublished on May 11, 2011 by Jamie
Gabbeh is a stunning film. Prior to this film, I had never seen an Iranian film. After seeing this film I plan to watch as many films as I can by Makhmalbaf. Read morePublished on May 9, 2011 by SBishop
Gabbeh was the first Iranian film I've ever seen. It interweaves a tale about love with absolutely incredibly imagery of the Afghanistan countryside and a motif of blankets and... Read morePublished on April 13, 2011 by Zia Haider
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