by Afra Nariman
The Accordion (2010)
Director: Jafar Panahi
Stars: Khadije Bahrami, Kambiz Bahrami
Jafar Panahi is one of the great (certainly one of the most important) humanist filmmakers of our generation. The Accordion is a fantastic and simple short that highlights the intersections between a society whose values are forcibly determined by notions of faith, the economic disparities of the society this value-system has historically been inflicted upon, and the behaviors of those living this reality. The film leaves us with the lasting sentiment that before reacting to certain behaviors, we must always stop to think what others are going through before coming to a judgement about them.
It is also an important detail that the story takes place near a mosque — here, being symbolic of the theocratic institution specific to Iran, that for 40+ years has dictated the nation’s “values” and has lied about caring for the Iranian people — yet the film’s characters who are right there near the mosque, suffer from poverty and are forced to fend for themselves in a society whose theocratic government has ignored their well-being, despite claiming that they care. The film’s final image evokes a call for people to come together to help each other get by, and places art (an eternally life-affirming staple in Persian culture) as the bonding element for people to maintain their humanity in midst of all this.
MY RATING /5:
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