Majid Majidi juxtaposes current issues with Iran’s changing lifestyles. For a global audience, his films de-mystify Iranian culture. His main character has always been a commoner. Majidi’s works frequently revolve around the struggle to live a decent life within the confines of a dangerous political environment. Comparisons to the Italian Neo-Realist movement are unavoidable.

Below are some of his essential films.

1. Beyond The Clouds (2017)

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While trafficking drugs in Mumbai’s underbelly, teen Amir is always escaping trouble. He eludes the cops after a narcotics arrest and ends up in the doorway of his estranged sister Tara. Tara is imprisoned as a result of the complications caused by hiding Amir. But she still sees her brother as her only possibility of returning to the outside world. While sadness has cast a pall over their lives, hope may be visible beyond the clouds.

2. Baran (2001)

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Afghan refugees supply low-cost labor at a construction site in Tehran. When an Afgan widower, Najaf, damages his foot in a fall, he disguises his teen daughter Baran as a man and sends her in his place. Memar, the affable foreman, notices that this “lad” is too frail to carry cement sacks. Therefore, he assigns Lateef, his tea boy, to Baran’s position. Lateef is enraged at Baran, but as he learns her secrets—that she is a young lady who is the sole breadwinner for a huge family. He discovers nobler and more empathic impulses within himself.

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3. The Color Of Paradise (1999)

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Mohammad, a student at Tehran’s blind institute, awaits his father’s arrival for summer vacation. While he waits, he notices a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases a cat away, locates the bird, climbs a tree, and returns it to its nest. Finally, his father appears and transports him to their town, where his sisters and grandmother await him. The young guy is a devout student of nature who yearns for country life with his family, but his father is ashamed of him and wants to farm him out so that he can marry a woman who has never heard of him. Dad apprentices Mohammad to a blind carpenter, over granny’s protests.

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4. The Song Of Sparrows (2008)

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Everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran when an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter’s hearing aid, which breaks right before important exams. Karim rides his motorcycle into a world he is unfamiliar with: a frantic Tehran, where he is enthralled and challenged by new prospects for independence. However, when he stumbles between massive cultural and economic differences between his desert village and a pulsing worldwide metropolis, his honor and honesty, as well as traditional authority over his innovative tribe, are put to the strain.

5. Muhammad: The Messenger Of God (2015)

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One of Abraha’s army commanders attacks Mecca in the direction of Abraha, King of Habasha, to destroy the Kaaba. He commands tens of thousands of men, horses, and elephants in a well-equipped force. The elephants halt and refuse to continue as the army reaches Mecca in response to the divine command. Abraha’s army is annihilated after millions of little birds unleash a storm of stones on his men. Muhammad was born a month later. This film depicts the pagan era, with all of its tyranny and brutality, through Muhammad’s eyes from birth to the age of thirteen.

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6. The Willow Tree (2005)

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Youssef, who has been blind since childhood, has a lovely wife, a beautiful daughter, and a great academic career, but his condition causes him to suffer in silence. A clinic restores his sight as though in response to his prayers—a double-edged miracle. Although this new world of sight and color fills him with ecstasy—the breathtaking images seen through his reawakened eyes include a dazzling vista of snow-covered hills, a shower of molten gold sparks in a jewelry foundry, and an array of lollipop lights behind a rain-speckled car window—it also throws him into a maze of confusion and temptations. A beautiful student begins to round his previously unseen wife, while calmly watching a trained pickpocket who fixes him with a gaze of withering complicity.

7. Baduk (1992)

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.Jafar and Jamal are abducted and sold into slavery after their father is killed in a good cave-in. While Jamal is dressed up in silks and shipped off to be a Saudi prince’s playmate, Jafar is compelled to smuggle things across the Pakistan-Iran border as a Badook. After eluding his captors, Jafar embarks on a quest to liberate Jamal with his new buddy Noredin, and their adventure continues.