Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s dreamy tale of a young Iranian girl’s desire to marry a distant horseman hardly seems subversive, and yet it was banned in Iran. Why? Simply because the story centres on a young woman, and is told from a woman’s point of view. And yet the film, which the director dubs “poetic realism”, is a simple lyrical tale that chronicles the day-to-day activities of tapestry-weaving nomads. What really sets the film apart is its startling visual artistry – vibrant, colourful and surreal. [iran, 2002]

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