The Colour Of Paradise review

School's out for summer, so eight-year-old blind boy Mohammad (Mohsen Ramezani) travels with his widower father (Hosein Mahjoob) to the family home in the mountains. He's unconditionally loved by his granny (Salameh Feyzi) and two sisters, but dad thinks Mohammad's disability is an obstacle in his own plans to remarry.

Majidi's follow-up to the Oscar-nominated Children Of Heaven is a beautiful work that plays ideas of visual and spiritual blindness against each other without becoming over-complicated. Although the film builds towards an intensely moving climax, it never uses young Mohammad's plight for quick and easy sentimentality. Instead, his finely-tuned senses of touch and hearing afford him a joyful appreciation of the world around him, and the seeing audience come to believe their perceptions are dull by comparison.

With its emotional power, unaffected acting and deceptively simple storyline, The Colour Of Paradise is up there with Bicycle Thieves as an instantly accessible foreign-language masterpiece.

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