28 May 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Unable to film in his native Iran, Abbas Kiarostami now has to shoot his enigmatic films abroad. Does it matter that Cannes audiences found his new work exasperating?

It's hard to spot Abbas Kiarostami amid the gloom of the Cannes beachfront pavilion. There he is, behind the curtain, still as a millpond, his clothes dark and his glasses darker. "I am not a creature of the red carpet," he explains, lest there be any doubt of that. Today he could pass for a fugitive from justice or a supergrass on witness protection, set to dish the dirt from his base in the shadows.

Once, not so long ago, Kiarostami was the de facto leader of the Iranian new wave, the creator of soulful, enigmatic human stories rooted in his home soil. Now the movement is defunct and the 71-year-old director in effect stateless, flushed from his habitat by the Ahmadinejad »

- Xan Brooks

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