Iranian cinema is known for its fine arts movies and the director Majid Majidi is the star. The Willow Tree is a sad, poetic and sentimental movie. It tells the story of a middle-aged man, Youssef, a professor who lectures on Rumi, who has been blind since childhood. Youssef, under the loving care of his wife, is sent to France for an experimental surgery to possibly help him regain his sight. While he is in the hospital, recovering from his sight-saving surgery, he strikes up a friendship with a man who is slowly going blind. They helping each other to prepare for the journeys ahead of them. But the operation changes Youssef’s life in unexpected ways. He returns home full of expectations, only to lose the paradise he imagined and dreamed about while protected by his blindness. Nothing is like he imagined in his inner vision. He hates his previous life, does not want to be pitted by his aging wife and lusts for a younger woman who does not pay any attention to him. He feels punished by God who seemingly had answered his prayers. Later he wastes his gift of sight as dramatically as it was given it to him, which he perceived as a punishment for his vanity and indifference to injustice he observed but did nothing about. Majid Majidi is able to tell very human, deep stories while complying with strict Islamic censorship.
Apr 6, 2011