If a child learns what is good, he can be a teacher to others.
Iranian writer and director Mohammad Reza Kheradmandan creates powerful short films, like this one about the beauty of motherhood and this one about the wisdom that comes from married love. Another film of his called Child and Man also packs an important message in under two minutes.
An official selection of the Cinequest Film Festival four years ago, and winner of Best Film at the Art and Nature Festival, the film depicts a little boy who notices the thoughtless actions of a grown man sitting across from him in the park. By the end of the film, we are touched not only by a lesson about stewardship, but by the example a good man can provide to his children.
Aleteia asked Mohammad Reza Kheradmandan a few questions about this particular film:
What inspired you to write and produce this one?
One of my oldest and most constant concerns is the environment, or where we live. It can be said in a large sense it is Earth and the smaller sense the city, neighborhood, and park. There is an old proverb in Iran that says our city is our home! Wherever I see disrespect for the environment, I get frustrated and tackle the issue. Child and Man was inspired in part when I witnessed a man eating seeds and carelessly dropping the skins on to the ground.
Where did you get the idea for the setting and the characters?
After seeing such a scene, I thought about how to tell a short story and with it a human issue that impresses the audience. I think that dealing with any issue becomes lasting and effective when it finds human connection; that is, the emotions of the audience should be engaged. After much study, I came to the conclusion that I should use the parental archetype of a child. That is, to put the audience in the position of the child of a park cleaner or a sweeper.
What did you want the viewer to learn from this tender story?
It was enough for the viewer to understand that someone like my father had to bend down and pick up the rubbish I was throwing on the floor. If your father was a sweeper, would you still be content to throw it on the floor?