Which movie do you want to watch this weekend – the latest action blockbuster or a movie that provides insight into the human experience and a different look at the world around us? Frankly, I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I often choose the latter. And more often than not, I’m pleased with the choice that I made.
Take the 1999 award-winning movie, The Color of Paradise. This film offers a glimpse into both the urban and rural parts of Iran during one summer in the life of a blind boy named Mohammad. The tale also suggests that despite the geographic, political and cultural differences between Iran and other nations, people in general want the same things in their lives – a sense of purpose, love, respect and support.
This gem of a film revolves around the challenges that Mohammad faces as he tries to find a way to live a meaningful life in a world that he can’t see. The movie’s other major theme focuses on the repercussions of the boy’s blindness for his father, a widower who hopes to remarry into a wealthier family. The Color of Paradise also provides a meditation on the surprising gifts available to those who live with disabilities, the blessings and curses inherent in being part of a family, and the ramifications of the choices that we make.
I personally loved the relationship between Mohammad and his grandmother who, despite living in what Americans would call poverty, created her own version of wealth for the young boy – a nurturing environment that helped him discover his gifts and experience life through his other senses. Their amazing bond triggered memories of my own maternal grandmother and our family’s summer visits to her Missouri home when I was a child.
Yes, if you watch this film you’re going to have to read subtitles (unless you speak fluent Persian or Azerbaijani). However, the actors in the film are very effective in getting their emotions and intent across so I believe you’ll easily keep up with the plot for the 90-minute span of the movie.
If you’re looking for a different experience this weekend, I’d encourage you to seek out The Color of Paradise. You can stream this movie through Amazon, Vudu and iTunes. In addition, the film is available on DVD through Netflix.