Directed by Amir Naderi (Iran, 1984, 94 min.).
Witness the first-ever restoration of this gem of the Iranian New Wave, with a bright synth soundtrack and one of the greatest child performances in cinema history. Living alone in an abandoned tanker in the Iranian port city of Abadan, an illiterate 11-year-old orphan (Madjid Niroumand) survives by shining shoes, selling water, and diving for deposit bottles. He’s bullied by both adults and competing older kids, but he finds solace in dreams about departing cargo ships and airplanes—and by running, seemingly to nowhere.
Often compared to Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and the great works of Italian neorealism, Naderi’s 10th feature film—inspired by his own childhood—has been cited as the beginning of the post-revolutionary Iranian New Wave, and its first masterpiece.
“Scrappy, intimate. . . . Naderi employs a mature artist’s disciplined technique to celebrate a child’s new-minted vision of his hardscrabble world.” —New York Times
“The Runner hovers somewhere between poetry and documentary. Naderi is at his most evocative when he lets the powerful images of this handsome-faced boy speak for themselves. It stays with you.” —Washington Post
With English subtitles