Shorts: Forbidden Tree
11 May 2010 02:00
[ spotlight ] Viewers have until May 17 to vote online for their favorite short film in the NFB Short Film Contest. The contest, presented by the National Film Board of Canada, in collaboration with the Cannes Short Film Corner and in association with YouTube, features ten short films from Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States, the Czech Republic, Algeria and Iran.
"Forbidden Tree," the seven-minute film from Iran by Banafsheh Modarresi, is a story about a land where love is forbidden and freedom a distant memory. People dare not stand up for their basic rights, so they have adapted themselves to living in a harsh environment. In the process of forgetting about love, their faces and figures have become transformed. In fact, the less love they have inside the more they come to show it on the outside -- indeed, some have even turned into animals.
The film has no dialogue because people are too scared to express themselves. The music, by Karen Homayounfar, is designed to emphasize this emptiness.
At some point, those who dare defy the rules, bring the city-state to a revolt by breaking taboos and falling in love. Because even though it is labeled a sin and forbidden, love has its roots in the human soul; this deep root does not rot in every human. And so even here, there is hope, a hope symbolized by a child who gets a taste of freedom by taking a bite from the forbidden apple.