A sumptuous blend of poetic realism and mysticism, The Brick and Mirror is a powerful expose on the nature of family, paternalism, and humanity as a whole, one which is quietly rebellious in its rejection of societal's strict definition of family and humanities' shifting focus towards modernization, questioning the deterioration such culture shifts have had on humanism, altruism, and ethics. The objective ideal of morality, societal norms, and social expectations are astutely and systematically examined throughout Ebrahim Golestan's The Brick and Mirror; in which a cap driver discovers an abandoned baby in his backseat, left behind mysteriously by a lady wearing a black veil. With each successive scene the film portrays the confrontational forces which make up humanity, ones in which altruism and egoism are not binary but intricately intertwined, with the film encapsulating an epoch through its intimate story of a taxi driver and his girlfriend struggling to determine what to do after the discovery of this vitality in the form of this newborn child. It's this fear of commitment, this desire to do the right thing which the film forms an astute allegory of pre-revolution Iran, one in which the filmmakers themselves dare not be brazen in any assertions about what is and what isn't the right thing to do, symbolizing a time in Iran where modernism and traditionalism were forces grappling for the soul of a people. Realism is intercut by philosophical soliloquies which aim to encapsulate the larger environment facing a people and nation, where ambivalence and uncertainty are shared by the two protagonists who struggle with the kafka-esque level or bureaucracy, there story being reflected against the weight of a nation, in which such uncertainly soon led to revolution.
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