A dirgelike score foretells tragic events for the two leads in this tense Iranian war drama (2003). A young soldier (Parsa Paruzfar) brings a Zen-like concentration to his job locating land mines, but his optimistic view of humanity is put to the test when he encounters a Kurdish shepherd girl (Golshifteh Farahani) with more on her mind than grazing her flock. Writer-director Azizollah Hamidnezhad deftly balances the hero’s idealism against the gathering storm clouds; like many contemporary Iranian filmmakers, he owes a debt to the Italian neorealists, whose postwar reality was similary polarized by hope and despair. In Farsi with subtitles. 86 min.