Abolfazl Jalili

Jalili's most mature film is a very social indictment, in which children earn money for their parents. Don is nine and doesn't have a birth certificate. Getting one is a full-time job.

The leading character, Don, is a 9 year old boy without a birth certificate. His father, a conscript and a drug addict, stayed away from any registry office in order to avoid being sent to the war front. Don's mother is an illiterate and possibly a drug addict too. None of his other four brothers and sisters were ever registered. Not having an ID, puts Don in a situation similar to other refugees - Afghans, Turks or Kurdish - who are not allowed to work legally. Not having been registered also means that Don and his brothers and sisters were not allowed to go to school. The acquisition of an ID becomes a full time job, and the child's ultimate dream. Meanwhile he works, amongst many others who have started work at the age of six. Don's financial hardship seems however easier to handle than his emotional turmoil. His only close friend, the 14 year-old Farzaneh, has also a father in prison. Deprived of financial support, her family will soon force her to drop school, despite her pleas. Soon Farzaneh is out of sight, and forced to comply to her family's financial arrangement, by marrying a much older man.Parents stealing from their kids to buy drugs, parents forcing children to buy their drugs, parents selling their daughters to provide for the family, adults deaf and blind to children's plea: it all seems banal routine.Don is Jalili's most mature film, with its strong indictment of a social structure, where bizarrely it's the children who provide for adults, by surviving with their own wit and courage.

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