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Apple

(85 mins) This is the winning film debut by the great Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's daughter, Samira Makhmalbaf, who was 17 years old when she made this film. The Apple tells the true story, using the actual people who lived this tale, of two 12 year-old twin girls in Tehran - Zahra and Massoumeh, who have been confined to their home all their life. Their mother is blind and their father is a strict religious man who is concerned about their honor should they be left on their own or subjected to the sinful influences of the outside world while he is out of the house. Consequently the girls have been locked in their home for twelve years, live unbathed, can scarcely walk, and can only speak in inarticulate grunts. The neighbors, concerned at the situation, inform the health and welfare authorities who examine the situation and warn the man that the girls will be taken into care if their circumstances do not improve. When the social worker returns to check on the girls however, she finds them once again locked-up by their father. Even when freed, the girls are initially unable to function in a world they have no conception of and return to the only place they are familiar with – their backyard. The social worker needs to employ stronger measures to ensure their freedom and development.

In Farsi with English subtitles.