Mard-e Koochak (1998)

Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Just like many other films from Iran, Mard-e Koochak also has a young boy as its protagonist. Life is not easy for eleven-year-old Mamal who lives with his extended family. His father, a charcoal seller, is forced to work away from home. Mamal secretly tries to help his grandfather to build a farm out of a barren land. But this results in his being late to school and coming home late as well, which puts him in trouble. He is scolded by his mother and his teacher. At one point, he develops a fever after working in the pouring rain. To top it all, his handicraft homework made out of pumpkin is eaten by a cow. Despite all, he does not give up. When harvest time comes and he is able to pick a lot of vegetables from the farm, he forgets his worries, and even his teachers are impressed with his improved comportment. The third full-length feature from the director of two highly acclaimed films, The Key (1987) and The Jar (1994), Mard-e Koochak excels in presenting different points of view (the boy's, the father and mother's, the grandfather's) in a casual manner. Made with children and for children, it has potential to interest adult audiences as well. Particularly, the last scene is very refreshing.