Review: ‘Behind the Curtain of Fog’

Charmingly set in Iran's scenic country provinces, "Behind the Curtain of Fog" is a mischievously scripted three-hander tracing the tangled relations between a deaf boy, his single mom and a stern headmaster at the boy's boarding school. Director Parviz Sheikh Tadi makes no concessions to the young audiences who will presumably see the pic; the characters are full of defects, and the ending is more downbeat than necessary. Nevertheless, children's fests and broadcasters on the lookout for quality kidpic fare would do well to take a look.

Charmingly set in Iran’s scenic country provinces, “Behind the Curtain of Fog” is a mischievously scripted three-hander tracing the tangled relations between a deaf boy, his single mom and a stern headmaster at the boy’s boarding school. Director Parviz Sheikh Tadi makes no concessions to the young audiences who will presumably see the pic; the characters are full of defects, and the ending is more downbeat than necessary. Nevertheless, children’s fests and broadcasters on the lookout for quality kidpic fare would do well to take a look.

When Morteza begins to go to school, he’s a sassy boy with a slingshot and a temper. Despite his disability, he soon makes the other kids respect him. Mr. Fatahi, the new principal, is a strict disciplinarian who tries to break his spirit until he falls for Morteza’s pretty widowed mother. Only after much hostility does everyone learn a lesson. With the help of his amiable cast, Sheikh Tadi draws subtle, layered characters who reveal themselves in well-written scenes. Naser Mahmoud Kelaieh’s lensing is especially good at bringing out the sensuality of the flower-strewn mountain fields and the beauty of colorful local costumes.

Behind the Curtain of Fog

Iran

Production

A Cima Film Center production. (International sales: Cima Media Intl., Teheran.) Produced by Mohammad Khazaii. Directed by Parviz Shiekh Tadi. Screenplay, Sheikh Tadi, Hossein Yadegari.

Crew

Camera (color), Naser Mahmoud Kelaieh; editor, Yaqub Qaffari; music, Homayoun Reza Atarodi; production designer, Sheikh Tadi, Babak Panihi. Reviewed at Fajr Film Festival (First and Second Film competition), Feb. 5, 2005. Original title: Posht-e Pardeh-e Meh. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Jahangir Almasi, Rozita Ghafari, Alireza Shiekholeslami, Fateme Taheri, Mohammad Reza Farahmand, Babak Pirnia.
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