(Iran/2006) Directed by Majid Majidi
“One of the minor consequences of the election of Iranian President Ahmadinejad has been that the flow of pictures to the West from Iran's troubled but vital film industry has almost stopped. Majid Majidi's exquisite The Willow Tree is likely to make a brief stop in theaters, so catch it if you can. A middle-aged academic named Yusef (Parviz Parastui), who has been blind since childhood but is happily married with a young daughter, miraculously regains his sight after having corneal surgery in France. Yusef comes home to discover that he doesn't find his own wife attractive; his uncle's young sister-in-law, though, is another story. Developing a story of erotic fixation in a cinema that can't show so much as an ankle or a shoulder is challenging, but Majidi pulls it off with panache, depicting Yusef's descent into madness and self-destruction in a series of haunting, masterfully constructed sequences. A beautiful film, both simple and profound, which suggests that bargaining with God is a bad idea in all cultural traditions.” -Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com In Persian with English subtitles (96 min.) Thu. at 7:30 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. at 9:30 p.m.
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