The Mirror

Jafar Panahi followed his debut feature, The White Balloon, with this 1997 story of a little girl in downtown Tehran who waits for her mother to pick her up from school and eventually decides to make her way home alone; finally Panahi shifts his focus to the making of the film itself. If you haven't seen any Iranian pictures this may seem fresh, but if you know Abbas Kiarostami or Mohsen Makhmalbaf it's likely to seem familiar. Kiarostami furnished the story for The White Balloon, and without his input Panahi seems stuck for a resolution to the narrative, though his documentary-style handling of both actors and everyday street life remains acute.

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