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After the earthquake of Guilan, the film director and his son, Puya, travel to the devastated area to search for the actors of the movie the director made there a few years ago, Khane-ye Doust Kodjast? (1987). In their search, they found how people who had lost everything in the earthquake still have hope and try to live life to the fullest. Written by
Sam Tabibia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A drive through areas devastated by the 1990 earthquake in Iran
There is a long intro before the title. A film director and his son are shown driving in a small beat-up car to northern Iran soon after the 1990 earthquake. When the car enters a long tunnel, the camera keeps rolling and on the darken screen the titles finally appear.
The film director is nominally Kiarostami, but played by an actor. Typical for his films, the documentary genre blurs with the fictional account. The devastation that we see from the moving car is real, though the lamentations we witness are probably staged, which does not diminish the sense of suffering of the affected local communities.
The impetus of this travelogue through a torn landscape is to locate at least one of the kids that was his main character in one of his previous films, "Khaneh-je doost kojast?". That quest is the director's central preoccupation, so much so he does not recognize another boy, who he gives a lift to, that had a secondary role in that film. If you see the aforementioned film, you will clearly remember the face.
The quest is made difficult by roads that have been gutted or blocked by rock and earth slides, and by the steep mountainous terrain of his goal, the small town of Koker. As he gets tantalizing close, we root for him.
The way the film ends may be disappointing to some, but I found that it matched the title of the film, "And Life Goes On". For the survivors of the earthquake there is mourning for the dead, but at the same time the 1990 World Soccer Cup is going on. What team will make it to the final? While houses have to be rebuilt, it is also important that TV antennas be lifted so that all can see the games in the evening. The director will make more films but now he is concerned about the well-being of that child actor. So life goes on, the quest must go on. There is no ending.
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