The White Balloon

A voice from Iran tells us that life itself is so interesting, so fascinating, so sacred, that we need not invent stories, dramas, parties to feel good about life. From such a voice is born The White Balloon (1995), a film shot in real time, which portrays one and a half hours in the life of a 7-year old girl called Razieh.

It is the Iranian new year and everyone is getting gifts. Razieh wants a new goldfish. She convinces her overworked, frustrated mother to give her money for a new goldfish and runs out of the house to the market to buy her coveted fish. In the next hour and a half, Razieh loses her money and then gets it back, but not without having encountered a variety of human beings – moral, immoral, beautiful, compassionate, ugly, and intriguing. There is no high drama, there are no thrills or twists of plot. There is just a walk to the market and meetings with ordinary people of all hues.
the white balloon 1

The meditation on every passing moment also allows some unmistakable reflections on human nature to emerge. The insanity of the parents and the sanity of their children. The emotionally hollow, monotonous lives of adults and the alive, real, even if sometimes sad lives of the little ones. The genuineness and spontaneity of a human being still not marred by life.

There is nothing extraordinary here. The present moment is offered as a gift to us, with all its curiosities, joys and boredom. It is a film where we meet life itself, quite simply as it is. The disarming simplicity and sincerity of these one and a half hours in a human being’s life – that is the essence of this deeply memorable piece of film. A film that pulsates with immense humanity, a film one feels grateful for having watched.

the white balloon 2

~ by tdcatss on September 1, 2015.

3 Responses to “The White Balloon”

  1. Beautiful movie. My favorite Iranian movie is however “Children of Heaven”. BTW on my blog I have quite some posts about Iranian cinema:

    I hope you enjoy the posts.

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