At a construction site in contemporary Iran, scrappy, hotheaded Lateef (Abedini) has a job delivering tea to the laborers, many of whom are illegal refugees from neighboring Afghanistan. When a frail Afghan boy named Rahmat (Bahrami) is given his job, and Lateef is reassigned to harder tasks, he becomes resentful and obsessed with taunting his strangely quiet nemesis until he learns a surprising truth about the boy.
This marvel of Persian minimalism tells a simple story about love, poverty, and goodwill. When Lateef realizes that Rahmat is actually a girl named Baran, he is transformed, and becomes her protector. The lengths he goes to relieve her family's suffering provides the film's bare, touching plotline. Charming, big-hearted, and deeply respectful to gender relations in Islamic culture (Lateef and Rahmat, for instance, never touch), "Baran" burrows right into your heart.