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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating mock documentary
Families are massively important. Seventeen year old Samira Makhmalbaf is following her father's, Mohsen, vocation in becoming a highly regarded film director. He also wrote the screenplay for 'The Apple' in which twelve year old twins, Zahra and Massoumeh, have been virtually imprisoned in their own home by their impoverished father and blind mother. Neighbours...
Published on 23 Jun 2000 by andrew@4-mat.net

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars An ordeal
The film presents a father with a blind wife who keep their daughters locked in a yard. Neighbours complain and social services intervene by locking up the father and setting his daughters loose...

Difficult to like this film which has some of the qualities of a documentary and shows us strange and unsympathetic characters.
Published 3 months ago by Mike K


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating mock documentary, 23 Jun 2000
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This review is from: The Apple [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Families are massively important. Seventeen year old Samira Makhmalbaf is following her father's, Mohsen, vocation in becoming a highly regarded film director. He also wrote the screenplay for 'The Apple' in which twelve year old twins, Zahra and Massoumeh, have been virtually imprisoned in their own home by their impoverished father and blind mother. Neighbours complained that the children had not bathed and could not speak. Makhmalbaf shows the twins attempting to function beyond their parents' wall after social workers have intervened. Their legs are so skinny that they can barely walk; this could be due to lack of practice or malnourishment. They lack social skills to the extent of being unaware that they have to pay for food.
What makes the film remarkable is that it is based on a true incident and uses the family involved. It seems staggering that the father agreed to participate, although he is portrayed as misguided rather than intentionally cruel. His comments reflect how girls are treated differently to boys in traditional Iranian society: 'God made woman for her to marry' and 'My daughters are like flowers. They mustn't be exposed to the sun or they would soon fade'. Yet this mock documentary refuses to condemn and therein lies its power. Even though the mother is seen swearing at her husband and the social worker, it is easy to muster sympathy seeing her terror when she goes out alone and a child dangles an apple in front of her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An film that you should not miss, 5 Jan 2002
This review is from: The Apple [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The Apple is an outstanding drama-documentary. The 'real' actors in The Apple make the film unforgettable. The sad yet true 'story' makes me laugh with tears.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The apple that bit back, 17 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
I believe that this movie is the debut film of Samira Makhmalbaf. The entire movie of 'The Apple' is fascinating, yes some would say slow in parts and infuriating in others but riveting viewing none the less. The story line comes over as slightly disturbing but well thought out, witty and intelligent. Initially it looks like a docu-drama and I guess that is the role of this film, in a place where social statements and the plight of women are kept under wraps.
One of the coolest things about this feature is it is based on a true story and the characters are played by themselves.
Brilliant! It's a welcome change from the Hollywood garbage we are subjected to.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World's Greatest Female Director, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
Samira Makhmalbaf is the world's number one female filmmaker. I have no qualms in giving her that accolade. In the pantheon of great female filmmakers working today there are many greats - Catherine Breillat, Lynne Ramsay, Jane Campion, Lucrecia Martel, Kathryn Bigelow, Kelly Reichardt - but Samira Makhmalbaf stands alone. No one has such a pure, direct cinematic eye. You get the sense that Makhmalbaf, like her father before her, sees in cinematic images. Her cinema seems so natural, so powerful and yet utterly casual and enjoyable.

Iran has one of the worlds most interesting film movements. In Makhmalbaf, they have a filmmaker with, one senses, a vision of what cinema should be. "The Apple" is a film, quite unlike any other, in which Makhmalbaf has completely revolutionised the idea of the movie "based upon real events". Her movie compels the viewer not to judge, just as she does not judge the parents in the story, which makes it all the more moving, perhaps. Her genius as a filmmaker, her maturity as an artist is all the more remarkable when one considers that she was just 17 years old when she made this, her early masterpiece. A unique cinematic artist.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iranian Film making: reality from a dream, 4 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
One of the greatest films from Iran. It constantly challenges you to make up your mind about what next. When you do, you realise that you should have waited till the end. When the end comes, it is never the end as you guessed it.

Stunning and painful realism. Iranian film making at its best.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple and touching film, 6 Aug 2001
This review is from: The Apple [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is one of those films that expands in the mind after you have seen it. The storyline is simple, following two girls who have been locked up throughout their lives and are now set free into the city. And yet, the poor father and blind mother who locked the children inside are sympathetically portrayed. Themes of poverty, isolation and deprivation are subtly explored as the two sisters wander around learning how to play with other children, playing with mirrors, ice-cream and apples.
This is a film which is charming and has much natural humour. It is compassionate and above all, shows us something visually through the medium of film which couldn't have been expressed in any other way. Wonderful.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent and very interesting, worth a watch, 22 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
i watched this whilst i was studying film studies at college and i found this very interesting to watch and as its a true story it really shows you how other people in the world live. it shows the two sisters themselves no actresses to play them, and how they live their life at 12years old. being locked up by their father they have developed language problems and find it difficult to understand others and speak. it is documentary like but very interesting and i would definitely recommend.
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1.0 out of 5 stars An ordeal, 1 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
The film presents a father with a blind wife who keep their daughters locked in a yard. Neighbours complain and social services intervene by locking up the father and setting his daughters loose...

Difficult to like this film which has some of the qualities of a documentary and shows us strange and unsympathetic characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Moving debut by 17 year old director Samira Makhmalbaf, 17 April 2014
By 
Andres C. Salama (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
Based on a true story and starring the very same people involved in it, this movie (by first time director Samira Makhmalbaf) tells the story of Zahra and Massoumef, twelve year old twins living on a very humble neighborhood in Tehran. Virtually imprisoned in their own home by their impoverished, ignorant, fundamentalist father and blind mother, they were freed by Iran social services after neighbours complained that the children had not bathed and could not speak. Makhmalbaf shows the twins attempting to function beyond their parents' wall after the social workers have intervened. Their lack social skills is such that they don't know that they have to pay for food. Made when she was just 17 years old (probably with some help from her father, the acclaimed Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf) this film stands very well in the Iranian tradition of social realist, humanist cinema that came out beginning in the mid 1980s. It’s so moving, it will be hard for you not to cry while watching it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very special film, 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Apple [DVD] (DVD)
I liked it a lot. It is not easy, sometimes it is slow and it tells a difficult story, but it is absolutely worth seeing
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The Apple [VHS]
The Apple [VHS] by Samira Makhmalbaf (VHS Tape - 2003)
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