Gypsy

Ali Shah-Hatami (Shrapnels in Peace) wrote and directed this gorgeous parable (2002) about a teen boy who learns a holy tune capable of ending the drought plaguing his village in the mountains of northern Iran. The elemental plot traces an arc of sin (the boy kills larks for money), pilgrimage (he seeks the lute player who knows the tune), and redemption (his playing brings rain), and Shah-Hatami doesn't muck it up with psychology or excessive emotion. Instead, he's after a fusion of poetry, music, and ethnography a la Sergei Paradjanov. The imagery is stunning—especially the landscapes of craggy peaks and forlorn deserts. In Farsi with subtitles. 80 min.

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