Life and stories of a Northern Iranian tribe, portrayed symbolically and lyrically by versatile talent Makhmalbaf - Critic's Choice by Mark Duursma, De Filmkrant.
He does not himself find the comparison just, but it is tempting to compare the latest film by Mohsen Makhmalbaf with the work of former Rotterdam-goer Sergei Paradyanov. With attractive tableaux vivants, a colourful symbolism and a feeling for lyricism that seemed reserved for film-makers from the former Soviet Union, Gabbeh depicts the oral culture of nomadic tribes in South-Eastern Iran. The film is a continuation with other means of an age-old tradition that threatened to be lost: the recording of the history of the family clan by weaving a carpet, a gabbeh. Only during the shooting did the film change from documentary to fiction. On the spot, Makhmalbaf invented the framework of the young woman Gabbeh, who comes to life from a carpet and tells the story of her deferred love. In this way the film develops not only as an homage to timeless beauty, but also into an artwork that is part of that tradition.Mark Duursma