Bread and Poetry

This Iranian tale of a brash young delivery boy who wants to be a poet at all costs is based on a hit TV series. Outside the local market, it could appeal to children's film fests.

This Iranian tale of a brash young delivery boy who wants to be a poet at all costs is based on a hit TV series. Outside the local market, it could appeal to children’s film fests.

The film is self-contained. Majid, a boy of 15, becomes infatuated with Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables.” Too poor to buy a copy, he tires of reading the long book in the public library. One day he switches the library copy for a book that he swipes from his literary-minded but mean-spirited brother-in-law. Unfortunately, there’s a big check inside the book.

Majid’s grandma is distraught about the loss, and the boy travels to the set of a historical movie in search of the missing book. The check turns up one magical night when Majid is invited to the exclusive Poet’s Society and gets to read his first published poem before a TV camera.

Veteran helmer Kiumars Poorahmad was Abbas Kiarostami’s assistant on “Where Is My Friend’s Home,” a connection that shows in a peculiar credits sequence showing Poorahmad shooting “Bread and Poetry.” But instead of giving the picture a more complex dimension, it just seems a little egotistical, like young Majid. With his loud, bombastic quotations and insensitivity to his family’s distress, the boy doesn’t get a high sympathy rating. Some of the old folks, like his granny and a revered elderly artist, win in that department.

Technical credits are sound.

Bread and Poetry

(IRANIAN)

Production: A Khaneh (House of Children and Young Adults' Literature and Arts) production. Directed, written by Kiumars Poorahmad, based on a TV series by Hushang Moradi Kermani. Camera (color), Parviz Malekzadeh; editor, Poorahmad. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 20, 1994. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Mehdi Bagherbeigi, Pavnindokht Yazdanian, Jamshid Sadri, Mohammad Ali Miandar, Mohsen Maleki.

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