Canary | Chicago Reader

Canary

Part fable, part cinema verite, this 2002 Iranian feature takes place amid the rubble and mayhem of a Palestinian district continually raided by Israeli militia. A seven-year-old boy receives a caged canary from a local priest, who instructs him to protect the bird from loud noises lest it stop singing and die. After the boy's father is arrested, the family members scatter to various safe havens, but the boy redoubles his efforts to protect the bird, with tragic consequences. Ebrahim Khezr gives a winning performance as the stuttering, wide-eyed boy, and the partly handheld camerawork lends the film an appropriately gritty and frantic look. Javad Ardakani Movaqati directed. In Farsi with subtitles. 88 min.

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