The Song of the Sparrows

Drama |Persian and Azeri with English subtitles | 96 minutes


In the outskirts of Tehran, ostrich farmworker Karim is fired because he allowed an ostrich to escape. To make matters worse, when he returns home, he is told  his daughter, Haniyeh,  lost her hearing aid.  The hearing aid is found but it’s broken. Karim rides his motorbike into downtown Tehran and is told fixing the hearing aid will cost far more money than he has. As he sits disconsolate on his motorbike, a businessman hops on the seat behind him thinking the bike is for hire. Karim is in business. He not only gets paid for transporting people around the traffic-clogged streets, he also hauls back  odds-and-ends he managed to pick up. But being so busy, Karim gets greedy and  forgets his main mission: to fix his daughter’s hearing aid. While arranging the junk in the yard, the pile collapses and breaks Karim’s leg. As he recovers he watches as his son tries to earn needed money by cultivating goldfish. His daughter, also concerned, tells her father a lie:  the broken hearing aid is really working. With nothing going right, an ex-colleague informs Karim  the missing ostrich was found and is back on the farm. Karim is overcome with joy.

Reza Naji (Karim) / Maryam Akbari (Nargess, Karim’s wife) / Shabnam Akhlaghi (Haniyeh, Karim’s daughter)
Why Stream This Film?
Karim, fired from his job on an ostrich farm, leaves his rural home for the bustle of crowded Tehran desperate to earn enough money to fix his daughter’s  hearing aid. The Song of the Sparrows will make you both laugh and shed a few tears. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 98%
  • Metacritic Score: 74
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Winner, Best Performance by an Actor (Mohammad Amir Naji)
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Winner, Best Actor (Mohammad Amir Naji); Nominated: Golden Bear Award
  • National Board of Review: Listed, Top Five Foreign Films

Now streaming on:

A beautifully crafted, often sentimental, sometimes humorous pic.
Alissa Simon


This simple fable of a righteous man’s relationship to his family, his community, and most of all his faith, has the force of conviction.
Stephen Holden

The New York Times

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