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JAFAR PANAHI 

Born in 1960 in Mianeh, Iran. Lives and works in Teheran, Iran.

 

The Accordion, 2010

Two children, a brother and his sister, make their living on the streets of Tehran by playing their accordion with passersby generously offering coins for their  playing. One day, their instrument is forcibly taken away by a man, finding the children guilty of having played music outside a mosque. The boy pleads to be forgiven, saying he did not realise that he was outside a mosque. The children cry out in desperation; they need the money to buy medicine for their sick mother at home. But the man remains unmoved and disappears with the accordion into the city’s labyrinth of lanes.

A little later, the children spot the man sitting in a square playing the instrument. The boy gets hold of a stone, ready to hit him with it. The girl asks the brother not to do so. As the children inch towards the man, he continues playing music and ultimately returns the accordion without any struggle.

Jafar Panahi is an Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film editor, internationally recognized as one of the most influential film-makers in Iran.  Although his films were often banned in his own country, he continued to receive international acclaim from film theorists and critics and won numerous awards. His films are known for their humanistic perspective on life in Iran, often focusing on the hardships of children.

The Accordion, 2010
Iran, colour, 8 min. 25 sec.
Original language: Farsi (with subtitles in English)
Segment of the film project "THEN AND NOW Beyond Borders and Differences",
An ART for The World production, Geneva