Kurdish art, crafts and folklore form an integral part of “Stony Blossoms,” an accomplished work about a teacher and artist who draws his inspiration from the stirring mountains in which he lives. Filmmaker Azizollah Hamidnezhad (“Tears of the Cold”) reveals a sensitive individual voice in his tapestry of strong-willed characters unbowed by the scourge of land mines and poverty. With its unusual setting and clearly told story, this colorful work would make a standout children’s film for festivals and broadcasters.
A stern young school teacher in the Garjal mountains struggles with a leaking roof to teach pupils from direly poor families. His hardness melts when he gets to know Jivor, a war orphan forced by his foster parents to work after school for a chicken vendor, despite his abhorrence of seeing them decapitated in front of customers. He also meets Bahareh, who weaves the designs he sells to a merchant into colorful folk carpets. An exploding land mine — a sad staple of Kurdish cinema — provides a climax, but not an end, to the characters’ stories. Lensing by Hamid Reza Loftian captures the extraordinary natural beauty of the place.