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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
The White Balloon
Directed by Jafar Panahi • 1995 • Iran
Starring Aida Mohammadkhani, Mohsen Kafili, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy
Jafar Panahi’s revelatory debut feature is a child’s-eye adventure in which a young girl’s quest to buy a goldfish leads her on a detour-filled journey through the streets of Tehran on the eve of the Iranian New Year celebration. Cowritten by Panahi with his mentor Abbas Kiarostami, this beguiling, prizewinning fable unfolds in documentary-like real time as it wrings unexpected comedy, suspense, and wonder from its seemingly simple premise.