Media Arts Program

Friday, February 2, 2001


Presented at:

THE SILENCE (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1997, 95 min, 16mm, Color, In Farsi w/English Subtitles)

"There is no more lyrical, poetic and artful voice in cinema than that of Mohsen Makhmalbaf. His films – staggeringly beautiful and endowed with a wonderful simplicity of expression – have consistently mesmerized North American audiences. His 1996 feature, Gabbeh, was a masterful love story with entrancing characters told in vivid colors. Makhmalbaf's latest feature is an equally arresting composition: it is the story of a young blind boy who experiences the world through sound.

Korshid is 10 years old and lives with his mother in a little village in Tadzhikistan. He works as a tuner for an instrument maker. Nadereh is his keeper, and comes to fetch him every day at his house. She acts as his eyes, and leads him through the streets to their destination.

Korshid is far from impaired by his blindness, viscerally experiencing the world in extraordinary and acute detail through his other senses. Walking through the street, past a line of young girls selling bread, he assesses the quality of their product with a touch of his hand. Korshid primarily relies on his hearing; his world is a rich aural mosaic, and he delights in sounds that others would ignore without a second thought, losing himself in the compelling harmonies of everyday life that surround him. One day he is drawn by the music of a wandering musician, and, as a result, is locked out of his workplace.

The Silence is a testament to the prodigious talent of Mohsen Makhmalbaf. In it, he displays exquisite nuances of sound and color with an unsurpassable ability to craft breathtaking cinematic portraits. It is truly awe-inspiring filmmaking."  –Dimitri Eipides

Some publications related to this event:
February, 2001. - 2001
January, 2001 - 2001