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Majidi's Sparrow Eye's Berlin Bear


Darius KADIVAR reports from Europe

First Iranian OscarŽ Nominee (1998) competes for Berlin's Prestigious Film Award


58th Annual Berlin Film Festival and photocomposition DK - After a critical misfire with moralistic melodrama "The Weeping Willow," Iran's only Oscar-nominated director, Majid Majidi ("Children of Heaven"), returns in "The Song of Sparrows" to dramatic territory he effectively mined in earlier works. Using amateur actors, this deeply humanistic story set among his society's underprivileged explores how capitalism and technology corrupts man, making him lose spiritual purity and all-important connections to family, friends and nature. Beautifully crafted, often sentimental and sometimes humorous pic may feel dramatically thin to some, but should enjoy commercial success in domestic market and appeal to niche distribs in territories where helmer reps a known quantity.


The head of the Berlin Film Festival Dieter Kosslick praised the latest movie of Majid Majidi's 'Avaze Gonjeshk-ha' (The Song of Sparrows) last month in an avant premier to the  58th Berlinale, branding it a "fantastic film." "You get an amazing feeling just watching the film and like they would say, it is really a nice film. It's a Sunday afternoon film," said Kosslick at a news conference with members of the Berlin-based foreign media Wednesday evening.

First OscarŽ Nominee Ever in 1998 for Children of Heaven. Bottom with Italy's Roberto Benigni Šimdb


"The movie gives you an extremely sympathetic portrait of a man who leaves the rural area to go to the city but later returns again," he added.

Kosslick stressed that this film of Majidi was unlike a typical movie of another famous film director, Abbas Kiarostami.


Majidi's movie is among 26 entries to compete for the 'Golden Bear' prize at the Berlinale, scheduled to take place in the German capital from February 7 through 17 .

The movie features Reza Najie, Maryam Akbari, Kamran Dehghan and Hossein Aghazi.

Kosslick pointed out that over the last three years two Iranian movies were nominated for the top Berlinale award.


Two years ago, Iranian film director Jafar Panahi got the 'Silver Bear' award at the 56th Berlinale for 'Offside'.


Four Iranian movies will be shown at this year's Berlinale, 'Avaze Gonjeshk-ha' (The Song of Sparrows), Manijeh Hekmat's '3 zan', Hana Makhmalbaf's 'Budda Az Sharm Foru Rikht' (Buddha collapsed out of shame) and Tanaz Eshaghian's 'Be Like Others'.

Majid Majidi (Right) and actor  Reza Najie (Left) at Press Conference Berlin Biennale -



Read Below: AFP Report on Majdidi's film The Song of Sparrows at Berlin Film Festival

Muslim tales and taboos at Berlin film festival


More than 5,000 films were sent to the Berlinale and over 4,000 journalists have been accredited for the top film event in Germany.








Authors Notes:


Official Website of Majid Majidi


Official Website of 58th Annual Berlin Film Festival


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About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant. He is international Correspondent for OCPC Magazine and contributes to the IC publications of The Middle East. and Persian Heritage.

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