The story is about the world of a small family with familiar dreams and not so remarkable problems. The mother is trying to lead everything to save her family, but small events disarrange all her plans.
Mohammad, a boy at Tehran's institute for the blind, waits for his dad to pick him up for summer vacation. While waiting, he realizes a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases away a ... See full summary »
A man is living with his only daughter and does everything he can for a living and for his daughter s sake hoping she is his forever. But a misunderstanding makes everything really complicated for him.
According to TCM host Robert Osborne, in 1990, 3 years after this film was made, a devastating earthquake destroyed the village where the story takes place. Thousands were killed, including the two boys who star in this film. See more »
What I mean to say is, suppose the kid did nothing wrong. What would you do? What then?
I'd find an excuse and give him a beating every other week. So he wouldn't forget.
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Many reviewers emphasized the difference between this movie and Kiarostami's works that followed. For some this movie was superior to all that came after (the latter being, in their opinion, too didactic, or too dry, or too snobbish, or too demonstrative in their artfulness, or all of these). Others praised the movies that followed for their daring openings in the cinematic art, while this film was, in their opinion, too simple, too naive, or maybe too didactic (again) in making its point.
Actually there is a didactic dimension in all movies of Kiarostami: he has a point to make and he makes it. In all his works the plot (if any) is just a support for his thoughts on movie art. Each of his movies is a demonstration about what a movie should be. Each of his movies is actually a meta-movie.
Is Where Is the Friend's Home simple? Yes, while also very subtle. It operates on multiple levels.
The exterior level, a plot of astonishing simplicity: like in the fundamental books of mankind, everything is simple, clear, linear, because truth loves nakedness.
Beyond this exterior level you'll discover the universe depicted by Kiarostami. A reviewer has observed that the journey of the boy follows a circular trajectory: he is advancing in his quest just to arrive in the same place, again and again. It's a close space, claustrophobic, while the boy is trying each time to enlarge the space. And I noted this circular trajectory, this close, claustrophobic space in all his movies; and also the temptation of the main character to enlarge the space. The same is in Taste of Cherry, in The Wind Will Carry Us, even in Ten.
Another observation made by a reviewer: Ahmed finds the friend's house only to find out that the friend is not there: an unfulfilled journey? Actually the fulfillment is just the journey! The journey has the purpose in itself, even if the personage does not know that. Again, the same in Taste of Cherry, or The Wind Will Carry Us, or Ten.
It was noted that no adult could take the boy seriously. I would say, it is more than that. The boy needs to find his friend to give him the notebook: but this is the subject of the movie. Asking the adults to help him is asking the adults to participate in the movie: asking the people from the real world to be also part of the world of the movie. Bringing the real world in the movie! The wish of the artwork to be accepted as reality, to become part of the reality: to make the reality part of the artwork. But this is the crux of Kiarostami's work! And, like in all the other movies, in the end someone understands and participates: the old door maker here, the old taxidermist in Taste of Cherry, the old physician in The Wind Will Carry Us, the woman who shaved her head in Ten.
No wonder that this movie was followed by two documentaries (And Life Goes On and Through the Olive Trees): Kiarostami came back where he had filmed Where Is My Friend's Home, to talk to the people there, to see the effect of the movie upon them, if any, to understand better the universe there, to be accepted, to make that reality artwork.
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