A girl who is pretending to be a man tries to get to a football match, which, if won, will allow Iran to qualify to the World Cup in 2006. The disguise is a necessity, as women are prohibited from attending football matches together with men. The attempt to get to the stadium will cost her a detention by military men.
In this simple story, Jafar Panahi hid a plenty of cultural and political meanings directed at the ruling Iranian regime and fossilized social restrictions. The rebelliousness of the White Balloon author is of calm and balanced nature. He is much more eager to give an unemotional and fictional account than to make an emotionally involved documentary. Panahi encourages us to look under the surface layer of the presented story, which shows its richness of meanings when set in a proper social and political context.
The screening of the film is to show our solidarity with Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, the Iranian directors who have been oppressed, imprisoned, and sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment and 20 years of creative work ban.
Berlin IFF 2006 – Silver Bear; Gijon IFF 2006 – Best Actress, Special Prize of the Young Jury; Ljublijana IFF 2006 – Amnesty International Film Award
Jafar Panahi was born in 1960 in Iran. He is one of the most award-winning directors of the Iranian New Wave. His career began with assisting Abbas Kiarostiami. After producing a few documentaries, in 1995 he made The White Balloon, which was awarded the Golden Camera at the Cannes Festival. Later he produced The Mirror, awarded the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Festival in 1997, and The Circle, and awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Festival in 2000. In March 2010, Panahi was arrested by the secret service of the Iranian regime due to his political engagement. He was admittedly released, but he is saddled with the 20 year ban on creative work.
1988 Yaarali bashlar (short / doc.)
1995 Biały balonik / Badkonake seid / The White Balloon
1997 Lustro / Ayneh / The Mirror
2000 Krąg / Dayereh / The Circle
2006 Na spalonym / Offside
2010 To nie film / In film nist / This Is Not a Film