The White Balloon

Drama | Persian with English subtitles | 85 minutes


As is the custom, on the eve of the Iranian New Year, seven-year-old Razieh nags her mother to buy her a goldfish she saw in a store window. The goldfish in their pond are all skinny. Her mother is reluctant. Razieh recruits her older brother, Ali, bribing him with a balloon, to convince their mother. Eventually, the mother relents and gives Razieh the necessary money. Razieh sets off with an empty jar to buy the goldfish. Along the way Razieh encounters several obstacles and one major mishap when the money falls through a grate. But, together with Ali, she is determined to buy the goldfish.

Aida Mohammadkhani (Razieh) // Mohsen Kalifi (Ali)
Why Stream This Film?
Film critic John Simon wrote, “Few films are a pure delight, but The White Balloon is one of these.”
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 82%
  • Cannes Film Festival: Winner, Prix de la Caméra d’Or
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
  • Cinéfest Sudbury: Winner, Best International Film
  • Tokyo International Film Festival: Winner, Gold Award, Best Film

Now streaming on:

This simple yet appealing movie from Iran’s burgeoning film industry is proving to be quite a crowd-pleaser.
Marjorie Baumgarten

The Austin Chronicle

THE WHITE BALLOON has an unadorned look, but its minor events are so carefully orchestrated that  it has the feel of a child’s pop-up book, with interesting bits of business in every window or door frame or alley.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times

3 Faces 

3 Faces 

Behnaz Jafari is a popular actress in Iran. She sees a video of a young girl, Marziyeh, pleading for help to escape the stifling restrictions of her conservative family…

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