Gabbeh (1996)

Reid, 19. January 2008, 14:25

Dir. Mohsen Makhmalbaf
75 minutes

I think Kevin would like this. But Penny and Grace would also find it interesting. I really enjoyed the film.

From what I understand a gabbeh is a kind of woven rug that has human figures woven into ostenbily capturing an actual moment (like a celebration). There’s a sense that gabbeh’s tell a story. In the film an old woman and man are washing their gabbeh and listen to a young woman recount her woes about not being able to marry the man she loves.

The film has a primitive myth-like quality told through the use of low-tech cinematic effects. creating really cool images and cinematic moments. It reminded me of early filmmakers like F.W. Murnau and Jean Vigo. If you’re tired of the same-old-same-old and are open-minded check out this film.

I liked the images such as the water running over the gabbeh or the gabbeh floating in the river. I also liked the way the director used color and low-tech effects as in the scene where the uncle teaching kids the different colors and “grabbing” the colors from various locations. It reminded me of something I’d see on Sesame Street or other children’s films from the late 60s, early 70s.

The other thing I liked was the freedom the director had with characters and storytelling. The gabbeh was seen as a girl (a girl who is also helping wash the gabbeh). The way the director showed the recollection of time was also interesting.

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