The first feature of Samira Makhmalbaf (the eldest daughter of Iranian writer-director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who furnished the script and edited) is a wonder–a comic, lyrical, and “politically incorrect” poetic docudrama so acutely focused in its characters and ethics that it can afford to be relaxed about them, all the more remarkable coming from a director still in her teens. The film reenacts the true story of illiterate, 11-year-old twin sisters who were kept in their house from birth, until a social worker discovered them and enabled them to step outside. Their encounters with the world outside their home and the neighborhood’s reaction to them are the twin subjects that keep this feature going, exposing how involved people are in their neighbors’ lives, for better and for worse, in everyday communal Iran. (The twins and most of the other participants play themselves.) These two screenings are previews; the film will open commercially in Chicago at a later date. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, October 24, 6:00, and Sunday, October 25, 4:00, 312-443-3737. –Jonathan Rosenbaum
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.