Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Roushan Karam Elmi
The movie focuses on one of the events in Zendegi Edame Darad (1992), and explores the relationship between the movie director, and the actors. The local actors play a couple who got ... See full summary »
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz,
A hundred and fourteen famous Iranian theater and cinema actresses and a French star: mute spectators at a theatrical representation of Khosrow and Shirin, a Persian poem from the twelfth ... See full summary »
Middle-aged Mr.Badii is planning to commit suicide and desperately seeks anyone to assist him - he has already dug out the grave in the mountains, but the assistant will have to bury him when he will do the deed. He asks Kurd soldier, Afghan seminarian, but everyone refuses by some reason. Finally he finds an old Turkish taxidermist, who has a sick son and previously attempted suicide himself, and he agrees to assist Badii. Written by
Kiarostami strikes again with another provocative film, very much in the same vein as his others: drawn out films that involve a very introspective soul-searching of all of the character's involved, and in so doing, finding some more meaning to the idea of what life is all about.
From the beginning to the end, Kiarostami gives us a complex script of characters that we come into contact with, and as we learn about each one, we learn more about the idea of life. What makes the film very interesting for a Western viewer is that I find closer to Kiarostami's Iran after each of his films that I watch, and become more informed to it. We learn intimate details about the lives of several Iranians.
Throughout the film I found that, although like many of his films it was quite slow-paced, it contained the extraordinarily rich dialog that is expected of a Kiarostami film. His films advance through their rich dialog while using the dusty Iranian landscape as their backdrop. I found a lot of the cinematography to be terrific, viewing the city from a distance and looking into the dusty foot-hills on the outskirts of Tehran. It is more than poetic to see a man at the end of his rope searching through the dust and faces of Tehran's poor laborers for answers about life and death. In many ways, the film is a large metaphor for the human state of affairs.
The film culminates very well, and we all eventually find our own taste of cherry in the film. I always feel as if Kiarostami's films are a very philosophical experience, and are quite personal. In this sense, Kiarostami's films are amongst the best that I have seen.
However, they are undoubtedly slower paced than other films, and they require the viewer to detach himself from any western stereotypes that he has about film. This would not be a good film for somebody expecting action or a typical Western film, but rather, this would be a film that I would recommend only to those who are in the mood for an insightful, philosophical film that shows an alternative view of life. Overall, it was an emotionally powerful film that will stick out in my memory as all Kiarostami films do.
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