The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid)
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The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid)
Iranian filmmaker Jafar Pinahi's debut feature The White Balloon tells the story of Razieh (Aida Mohammadkhani), a seven-year-old girl intent on buying a new goldfish in time for Tehran's annual New Year's Day festivities (in Iranian culture, the goldfish is a symbol of life). Upon badgering her mother into giving her a 500-toman banknote, Razieh heads off to the marketplace alone; it is her first real experience away from her parents' watchful eyes, and the excitement and wonder she feels is palpable. Told in real time, the film's sensitive portrayal of Razieh's… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"By putting itself in sync with the rhythms of everyday life, it offers a reminder that the simplest forms of filmmaking can be the most satisfying."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Raziah takes everything at face value, forcing us to look again at people and situations we would immediately judge as good or bad -- reason enough to see this film."
‑ Andy Spletzer,
"In an era when ethnic hatred turns groups against each other, it is salutary to come across a film about universal qualities linking people from different cultures."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Memorably simple, memorably resonant."
‑ Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee
"Without it ever being said, we get to meet and deeply appreciate some of the Iranian people who never make the news."
‑ Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies
"We need to fall in love with Razieh to see the film properly, and we do."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Panahi brings film back to its elemental magic."
‑ Tom Keogh,
"[Mohammadkhani] has no screen presence and more over was about as much fun to listen to as someone scraping their fingers down a blackboard."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"Simple yet appealing movie from Iran's burgeoning film industry."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Often this movie just feels like a walk in the park with a recalcitrant child. How much can you stand to watch?"
‑ Barbara Shulgasser, San Francisco Examiner
"Panahi has much the same kind of talent, a concern to make his film a kind of home for its characters, but he has not yet found [Kiarostami's] secret, how to find and hold the still point of the turning world."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"There are LONG stretches of... well, real time."
‑ Keith Simanton,
"Explores childhood on its own terms, with great respect and an unerring sense of truth."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The brilliance of the film, is in its simplicity."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid) on Rotten Tomatoes