The fourth film by the Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf is a harsh, powerful portrait of a mentally retarded youth who is hired by the father of a disabled boy to carry him on his back to school each day. The director said that although the main theme of the film “is the metamorphosis of a person into an animal,” the political message is much deeper. She has no doubt that “famine and violence are not mere clichés".
She always works with nonprofessional actors and acknowledges that it is often very difficult to find the right ones.
She also had administrative problems which meant she could not shoot the film in her own country and she had to make it in Afghanistan, although she claims that it could have been shot anywhere in the world as its basic theme is human and universal.