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The 1998 first feature of Samira Makhmalbaf (the eldest daughter of Iranian writer-director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who furnished the script and edited) is a wonder—a comic, lyrical, and “politically incorrect” poetic docudrama so acutely focused in its characters and ethics that it can afford to be relaxed about them, all the more remarkable coming from a director still in her teens. The film reenacts the true story of illiterate 11-year-old twin sisters, kept in their house from birth until a social worker discovered them and enabled them to step outside. Their encounters with the world outside their home and the neighborhood?s reaction to them are the twin subjects that keep this feature going, exposing how involved people are in their neighbors? lives, for better and for worse, in everyday communal Iran. (The twins and most of the other participants play themselves.)

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