Majid Majidi, the man of international fame, is a renowned Iranian screenwriter and producer, besides being a filmmaker. He is a delightful cerebral director who started acting at the age of 14 in amateur theatre. Having studied art at the Institute of Dramatic Art in Tehran, he went on to make his debut as a director and screenwriter with the film Baduk that was exhibited in Quinzaine of Cannes and won awards at Tehran’s Fajr Film Festival.
His cinema is what critics say, ‘shockingly simple’. He combines contemporary themes with the Iranian lifestylesin a manner which is intriguing. The director has won around 40 awards so far. As he turns 62, let’s take a look at some of his essential movies:
Children of Heaven:Bacheha-ye Aseman (Children of Heaven) was a dedication to Majid’s father. It is a family drama which revolves around 2 siblings’ adventures over a lost pair of shoes. His cinematic genius lies in the fact that he wisely includes some incisive shots that are labyrinthine yet lucid, as evident in this beautiful film.
Beyond the Clouds: Majid brilliantly shot this movie based on human drama. It had some of the stellar performances from the cast. With A.R. Rahman scoring the music for the film, this was a masterpiece indeed which throbs with the experiential authenticity. It is the other grown-up version of Children of Heaven. Ishaan Khatter plays the role of Amir.
The Color of Paradise: It is another stunning movie, originally titledRang-e Khoda(The Color of Paradise), which was immersive and gripping. Revolving around an 8-year-old visually challenged boy, Majid had cast an actual blind boy named Mohsen Ramezani, a non-actor to play the titular role of Mohammad.
The Song of Sparrows: This Iranian movie opened to critical acclaim; and beautifully showed nature’s banter with humans. It orbited around a man named Karim who worked at an ostrich farm. It was selected for Best Foreign Language Film in the 81st Academy Awards, and Majid had won Best Director Award in Fajr International Film Festival.
Baran: One of the most heart-warming films that swept almost all the international awards was Majid’s Baran. He won the Grand Prix of the Americas Award for Best Film at the Montreal World Film Festival;Best Screenplay & Best Director at the Gijon International Film Festival. It was a magnum opus of thwarted love revolving around the lives of Afghan refugees.