Iran, 2008, 96 min
Director: Majid Majidi
Cast: Reza Najie, Hossein Aghazi, Maryam Akbari, Kamran Dehghan
Awards: Siver Berlin Bear 2008 (in the category of best actor); nomination: Golden Berlin Bear Selection: Exit Point
Iranian movie Avaze Gonjeshk-ha (The Song of Sparrows) made by famous Iranian director Majid Majidi, won a Silver Bear award for best actor on this year Berlin Festival. The award was unanimously given to Rezi Najie. The movie is going to be shown in the international competition program, Exit Point.
The movie shows a psychological transformation of the main character Karim, which happens as a result of hard living conditions. Karim works on an ostrich farm. Hard but honest job allows him to earn a decent salary which enables him to support his family. A problem appears one day when he notices that a bird is missing. He finds himself responsible for the farm loss, so he begins a useless search for the missing ostrich.
One day he goes to a city wanting to repair his daughter’s hearing aid. On his return, he decides to give a man a lift for a certain fee. He gets a fine sum of money and he decides that he wants another job – as a taxi driver. Every day he drives to the city and back, and on his return he starts gathering old things – old furniture, car parts, etc. As his connection with the city becomes regular, his once neat house yard becomes a junkyard.
Sam Karim gradually turns from a pleasant and friendly man into a selfish recluse who lives only for increasing his “second-rate goods”, neglecting everything else, even his family. Once he criticizes his wife for giving an old door to a poor neighbour. He reacts angrily, not showing sympathy at all – he goes to retreive his door back on his favorite pile of junk.
Soon afterwards, one night, while sorting his junk, Karim falls and hurts his leg. He has to lie in bed, which allows him to see how hard his wife and children work for living and how they get support form their neighbours in this difficult period. Under the new circumstances, Karim and his home begin their improvement.
The Song of Sparrows is a drama with some elements of comedy that, through psychological metamorphosis of the main character, successfully attracts attention of the viewer to true values of life.
Reza Najie as Karim managed to win Silver Bear Award on this year’s Berlinale Festival with his performance of this complex character. This is his first nomination and award. He worked and recorded under names Amir Naji, Reza Naji, Mohammad Amir Naji.
Director Majid Majidi was born in 1959 in Teheran, Iran. When he was fourteen he began acting in an amateur theatre group. After that, he studied on the Institute of Drama in Teheran. His debut as a screenplay writer and director was in 1992 with movie Baduk in the Cannes Film Festival, where he had great success. After that he wrote and directed several movies that achieved world recognition. His movie Bacheha-Ye aseman (1997) was nominated for an Oscar in the category of “best foreign language film”, while he set new records of people who saw the movie in Asian film altogether with Rang-e khoda (1999).