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Books & Films
Here we present the most exciting books and films. Save space in your travel bag. These books (and films) should be a part of you backpack.

Iran shows its incredible beauty through the movie about Gabbeh – Life is colour!

The movie Gabbeh gives a beautiful portrait of the nomadic life in Iran. It's directed and written by international renowned director Mohsen Makhmalbaf in 1996. Its symbolic expressions make it unique. Here you can follow a nomadic tribe wandering through a beautiful landscape that takes your breath away. You will really see that Iranian people and nature is colourful as the carpets they make themselves. Also today it's possible to visit nomads and experience their unique traditional culture and lifestyle, and don`t forget the country's untouched and grandeur nature.

Photo. Gabbeh (Seyed Abbas Sayahi), the girl from the Iranian movie "Gabbeh - Life is colour" - a beautiful lyrical vision of rural Iran! (Copyright: Sanayeii Dasti D`Iran & MK2 Production).


The Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf has managed to create a mystic atmosphere that seduces you from the start. By follow the movie to the end, you will see whether Gabbeh`s admirer manage to seduce her too. He signals his feelings to her by howling like a wolf.


The love story in the movie is told with strong poetic expressions and use of metaphors. The director rise questions about Gabbeh`s role in a traditional society, itself a brave action. She is refused to meet her lover by her tribe, and she knows how danger it could if she not follows the rules.





Contact us in Travel Explorations for booking your tour to Iran. 

E-mail: Stein@TravelExplorations.com

Soon we will introduce our partner in Iran!


The film begins with a gabbeh, a Persian rug unique to the nomadic tribes of southeast Iran , drifting in a river. As seen in the opening scene there is a woven carpet which depicts two figures on horseback. When this gabbeh is washed, the spirit of a young woman named Gabbeh, reveals herself and the story behind its patterns. She dreams about finding the true love, but she does not know whether the legend that is woven into the carpet will be real one day.


Gabbeh belongs to a no madic tribe called Gasgai. Together with her clan she lives in spectacular scenery filled with colours. The film shows how the women make colourful gabbehs and it's used as a metaphor for creation of life and nature.

Photo. Women from the Bactrians nomads in Iran weaving (illustration photo from Travel Explorations).


As we follow Gabbeh and her clan on their wandering, we can observe handiwork of gabbehs, from the shearing of the wool to the mixing of the dyes which colour it. Weaved carpets depict the nomads life, history and legends of the makers. Their philosophy is simple: "Life is colour, love is colour, pain is colour and joy is colour".


The world is rich of colours

Gabbeh and her clan members live perfectly in harmony with the nature. The most beautiful scene in movie is where Gabbeh's uncle, the teacher, stands in a classroom filled with children and picks "colours" from outside the window. He displays the colour of the sky, the ocean, the fields, flowers etc. and tells about the colourful world they live in. According to the colours there are moments of humour, sadness and tragedy.


Photo. A beautiful colourful carpet from the Luri (Lor) nomads in Iran (illustration photo from Travel Explorations).


The movie about Gabbeh it's a different movie. More than any other movies I have seen, this movie challenge the viewers. In a strong symbolic way the movie give the viewers opportunity to interpret what happens in the scenes. You have to be fully concentrated whole the time, and it gives rooms for own adventures based on beautiful poems and symbolic actions. It creates your own visions!


It also gives depth to the main characters. It sets you in a different mood dependent of the various emotions and colours. Gabbeh`s admirer follows her and her clan hidden in the background on a horseback. The wandering reaches a climax when the lovers take a dramatic decision. Nothing else will be as before!


The film is colourful, the Iranian carpets are colourful, the Iranian nature are colourful, and so are the people themselves. Better inspiration for travelling and adventures could not be found!


Review by

Stein Morten Lund, 3 November 2004


Additional information

For more information about Iran and local guides, contact us in Travel Explorations.


***** Our coming partner in Iran will soon be presented on our website.  


Read more about nomads in Iran on our website!

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