The Colors

Ostensibly a film for children, this picture book essay about the range of hues that brighten our world has the air of a delightfully playful formalistic exercise. As the narrator runs though the colors one by one, Kiarostami shows us where each appears in nature and in human life (which occasions some great views of pre-revolutionary consumer culture in Iran). Of course, a little boy is featured‚ and in one memorable sequence he fantasizes about being a race car driver.


“They’re designed to help kids reflect on ethical, aesthetic, and practical issues ranging from the virtues of brushing one’s teeth [...] to the specific properties of color and sound. The Colors [...] recalls some of the abstract montages of Hollis Frampton’s Zorns Lemma via color coding – though it also indulges violent fantasies involving cars, guns, boys, and paint.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum1

  • 1Jonathan Rosenbaum, “Short and Sweet,” Film Comment, Vol. 36, Iss. 4 (Jul/Aug 2000): 27.
UPDATED ON 27.03.2023