on June 25, 1997 by Ed Scheid
Among the nomadic peoples of Iran, a gabbeh is a handwoven carpet with patterns inspired by tribal life. As this film opens, an old woman is washing her gabbeh in a river; a young woman named Gabbeh (Shaghayegh Djodat) dressed in the deep blue of the carpet appears and talks about her life, which is told in the fabric's patterns: Her father forbids her to marry the man she loves; as she travels with the tribe, her lover follows at a distance on horseback. "Gabbeh" combines a fable with a documentary-like look at nomadic life. Unlike the black robes depicted in Iranian films set in urban areas, the tribespeople here wear bright costumes. The film is likewise full of vividly colorful images of the world the nomads encounter. "Life is color," says one character; a man's hand changes colors as he points to the sky and flowers.
  &#160Director/writer/editor Mohsen Makhmalbaf weaves together different threads into an unusual and intriguing film. Starring Shaghayegh Djodat and Hossein Moharami. Directed and written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Produced by Khalil Daroudtchi and Khalil Mahmoudl. A New Yorker release. Drama. Iranian-language; English subtitles. Not yet rated. Running time: 75 min. Screened at Telluride.
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