Kiseye Berendj

Bag of Rice | Ein Sack Reis
Jairan’s family is short of money. The young child lives with her parents and sisters in a humble courtyard apartment in Tehran. Her elderly neighbour also counts every rial. So, despite being extremely near-sighted, she sets off into the city to collect rice using a coupon that her son neglected to redeem – and Jairan gets to go along! This odd couple seems rather lost on the busy streets and byways, facing a host of hurdles. But with the help of strangers, including a mother and son, a busload of women, a group of schoolchildren, and a motorcycle rider, they manage to overcome them all. Back home, the two cook up a pot of rice after a day rich in adventure … Influenced by the spare cinema of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Robert Bresson, Bag of Rice is a big city odyssey anchored in social realism. But this childlike heroines’ journey sparks with comical moments. A decisive factor in the film’s charm is the authenticity of the amateur child lead, whose mien ranges from delightfully cute to annoying and back again. Director Mohammad-Ali Talebi said that he wants to get genuineness out of everyone, that he doesn’t want actors, he just wants amateurs.
by Mohammad-Ali Talebi
with Masume Eskandari, Jairan Abadzade, Shirin Bina, Hossain Kalantar, Aghdas Abadzade, Ghasem Sabeti, Mohammad-Ali Tabatbayee, Raya Nasiri
Iran / Japan 1996 Farsi 80’ Colour DCP: Mohammad-Ali Talebi

For the 2023 Retrospective, internationally renowned directors, actors, and screenwriters were asked to select their personal coming-of-age favourites.
Tilda Swinton on her selection


  • Masume Eskandari
  • Jairan Abadzade
  • Shirin Bina
  • Hossain Kalantar
  • Aghdas Abadzade
  • Ghasem Sabeti
  • Mohammad-Ali Tabatbayee
  • Raya Nasiri


Director Mohammad-Ali Talebi
Screenplay Houshang Moradi Kermani, Mohammad-Ali Talebi
Cinematography Farhad Saba
Editing Hassan Hassandoost
Music Mohammad-Reza Darvishi
Sound Hamid Parsa-Hosaini, Mahmud Sammakbashi
Art Director Laya Palizban
Costumes Mohammad-Ali Talebi
Producers Uta Miyamoto, Mari Iwata
Executive Producers Shigeaki Yamaoka, Mohammad-Ali Talebi

Produced by

Digital Media Lab

Additional information

DCP: Mohammad-Ali Talebi