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From one of Irans most celebrated filmmakers, comes The Silence, a hypnotic symphony of visual and aural rhythms. The Silence follows the life of Khorshid, a blind 10-year old boy who experiences the world through sound. Living with his mother in a small village in Tajikistan, Khorshid earns money tuning musical instruments.
Nadereh, the beautiful young protégée of the instrument maker for whom Khorshid works, acts as his eyes, fetching him every day at the bus stop and leading him through the streets to his destination. Sometimes on the way, a conversation or melody attracts Khorshids attention and he loses himself in the compelling harmonies of the city and everyday life.
About to lose his job and his home, Khorshid creates a world where he can be happy; where hypnotic sounds and the music of the world shows him how to experience life. "
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot is simple, the pace is slow, but this film is beautiful. The imagery is powerful, sensual and provides the viewer with a visual mirror on Khorshid's aural, interior fantasy.
Yes, Mohsen's film tells a story, and that story is the mastic that holds the film together; but don't be satisfied with that. For how can one be satisfied with a story called The Silence about a blind boy who is an instrument tuner, whose guiding compass in this world, and possibly the next, is his ear? That compass is magnetized to love's pole by way of beauty (Jamal). And what is love? "The tale of love must be heard from love itself, for like the mirror, it is both mute and expressive." - Shams e Tabriz
Watch with attention, with the state of openness, and perhaps, God willing, you will, as the film quotes the Scripture, "Think not of the past or the future, but become the son of the moment and take death as target between the eyes."
This is a film of rich visuals. While Makhmalbaf does portray the poverty and failing infrastructure of Tajikistan, he powerfully draws out the varied colours of the country, as well as the immense ethnic and racial diversity of Transoxiana. One curious focus of SOKOUT is the ambiguous period between girlhood and young womanhood, as Nadareh and another female character of the same age are first introduced with extreme closeups of their lower faces, which make their exact age uncertain. Although still very much a child, Nadareh is shown aspiring to adulthood, drooping cherries over her ears like earrings and placing flower petals over her fingernails as makeshift nail polish.
Although memorable and often entertaining, SOKOUT falls short of greatness, for what its plot all means is not clear. There's no closure or resolution, and indeed by the end of the film, things are looking worse for Khorshid and his mother than ever. Perhaps I'm simply missing an allegorical meaning that Makhmalbaf's Iranian audience will pick up on immediately. A couple of interpretations seem likely, and there's a clear attack on religious fundamentalists when Nadareh runs away from a soldier scolding girls without head scarves. But the film remains a great enigma for me. Another flaw is that the use of amateur actors, while it generally makes for authenticity, seems a limitation whenever trained actors come on screen, such as Araz M. Shirmohamadi playing a Turkmen nomad.
Still, I do recommend this film very much. Many scenes will stay with you, and this is a glimpse into a part of the world little-known in the West. I've watched SOKOUT several times now, and even if I never succeed in getting it, making another attempt is always an enjoyable 70 minutes.
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