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       Insert Time : 2010/01/26
“Endless Dreams” encourages respect for physically challenged children
Filmmaker Puran Derakhshandeh says that acting has always held special value for her, as she feels that actors are manifestations of the concepts of films.

“I must admit that it is difficult for me to use an actor who is not disabled to play the role of a physically challenged individual. I enjoy working with professional actors but to work with non-actors is a real honor for me,” Derakhshandeh explains.

 “Endless Dreams” by Derakhshandeh was shown on the second day of movie screening during the 28th Fajr Film Festival at the Milad Tower where the cast and crew, artists and media sat together to watch the film.

 Like her previous works, “Endless Dreams” focuses on children with disabilities and how they are ignored by society. The movie is competing in the Iranian Films Section of the 28th Fajr International Film Festival.

 A schoolteacher encounters several strange events on her way to school before a meeting with physically challenged student Elnaz (Ziba Hashemi) who was denied admission because of her disability. And the story continues with the visions school girl Reyhaneh (Armita Moradi) sees in her dreams.

 Periodically, individuals must be reminded of the health bestowed upon them by the Almighty God and to treasure it and praise Him, and to draw attention to the plight of families who are dealing with handicapped children in their everyday lives.

 “Endless Dreams” tries to draw the attention of parents and society on how fragile these children are and how tenderly they should be treated. However, most of the time they are ignored both by parents and the society.

 They are left alone and their talent and mentality are disregarded. They do not receive the care they need and grow up without love and experience a world filled with indifference.

 Director of “Endless Dreams” seems to have found her way of praising the health bestowed upon her by capturing on film the pain and stress these innocent children experience every day.

 Elnaz’s desperate need for love and attention leads her toward harshness as she tries to take revenge on the teacher who ignored her at school and failed to treat her like other healthy school children.

 “Asking an individual to play the role of a physically challenged person is harder than asking a disabled person to play the role,” she had said once. So the question arises upon watching Elnaz, the physically challenged character of the movie, has the director searched among the disabled before casting the non-actor, Ziba Hashemi, in the role.

 It seems harder to make viewers believe the actor is really disabled. The seemingly-unformed fingers of Elnaz hardly convince the audience they are real. Her style of walking again does not fool audiences, since her legs are quite normal. Her form of speech is another matter.

 Perhaps, Derakhshandeh is right, it is hard to ask an individual to play the role of a disabled; it is really a difficult task.

 The 8-year-old Reyhaneh, the character who leads us with her dreams, is sweet, pretty and wears her hair in braids. She does her best to act the part, though it is a bit exaggerated in several scenes.

 Reyhaneh’s close friend Samira (Kimia Kermanian) with her tall and slim figure plays the role of a student who is not that sharp. Her character was quite believable, a bit silly but also loyal and reliable, the type of person a friend can count on the most.

 Besides the children, teacher Ms. Ahmadi (Pantea Bahram) and the policeman (Alireza Khamseh) have their roles in moving the story forward. Fereshteh Sadr-e Orafaii and Mehran Ahmadi are the other major actors.

 “Endless Dreams” begins and ends the story with children. It is simple and honest and there is hope that it can draw parents along with children to movie halls to watch and learn to respect the disabled.

 “Nocturnal Emissions”, “Candle in the Wind”, “A Love Without Frontier”, “Little Bird of Happiness”, “Lost Time”, and “Passing Through the Dust” are Derakhshandeh’s other credits.


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