The whole village knows that Mashti Hassan loves his cow to death. One day he goes to the Tehran. His cow dies. The villagers are afraid of what might happen once Hassan finds out his cow is dead. What will happen when he finds out?
Leila and Reza meet in a kind of celebration and fall for each other. Having discovered their love, they get married soon only to find out the infertility of Leila. That's when Reza's ... See full summary »
Hamoon's wife is leaving him. He is also unsuccessfully trying to finish his Ph.D. thesis. He is forced to reexamine his life. In a series of flashbacks and dreams, Hamoon tries to figure ... See full summary »
Mamo, an old and legendary Kurdish musician living in Iran, plans to give one final concert in Iraqi Kurdistan. After seven months of trying to get a permit and rounding up his ten sons, he... See full summary »
Amiro is a young boy who has lost his home during the war. He spends his days by working odd jobs, until he realizes that the only way that he can realize his dreams is by enrolling in ... See full summary »
During the Iran-Iraq War, Bashu, a young boy loses his house and all his family. Scared, he sneaks into a truck that is leaving the area. He gets off the truck in the Northern part of the ... See full summary »
The Glass Agency is the story of a war veteran living in post war Iran. It depicts veterans who are suffering from social problems after the war. Society does not understand them and the ... See full summary »
Golrokh an Iranian lady who is a talented author struggles to settle her presumably disloyal but amorous husband's debts that his business partner has caused and left him to bear the ... See full summary »
Few recent emergence's in the film world have been exciting as the Iranian New Wave. Abbas Kiarostami was one the first to draw attention, with his 1997 Palm D'or winning A Taste of Cherry. He continues to make exciting films. Kiarostami was followed by Bahman Ghobadi, who arrived on the world scene with his films A Time for Drunken Horses and Turtles Can Fly. Again and again, what shines through in these films is their love and respect for humanity - its agonies, its absurdities, and its often bittersweet joys. Perhaps it has something to do with Iran's censorship, poverty and desolation that they just have more respect for the art of living. After all, living really can be an art form at times.
One of the most promising new Iranian filmmakers is Saman Salur. He is the director of A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral. It is at once a bleak black and white stunner, an absurdest black comedy, and bittersweet swan song to the search for love. Its genre is life.
The film is set around three protagonists. Two run a gas station on the outskirts of town, on a road that gets next to no traffic anymore, and so they get next to no customers. They live and work out of a decrepit van on site, its windows covered in plastic. Sadry is a former strongman, now blind in one eye. He is the boss of the station. Yadi is his eager to please assistant, who usually annoys more than pleases. Finally there is the postman, Abbas, who longs to trade in his break-less bicycle for a motorcycle, while he must care for his mentally ill brother.
Each is longing to be loved in different ways. Sadry is the most interesting of the three. He buys a TV so he can watch the weather constantly. He secretly prays for snow. He goes daily to a woman who it appears lives in her car. She does not reply when he speaks to her. Only slowly do we even realize that she is not ignoring him because she doesn't' like him, but she ignores him because she is dead. Despite this apparent macabre situation, it's actually quite touching. The lifeless Sadry somehow finds comfort in her lifeless presence. The cold weather has preserved her, and he prays for snow so that she may remain hidden. How ironic that the only thing keeping him living is death. Yadi longs for the love of a woman he met but once. He writes her letters, delivered by the postman whom he has a deal with for each month. Yadi's optimism seems to mask a profound sadness, especially considering she has not once replied. Why she does not reply only comes with time, and despite uncertainty returns a flicker of hope into Yadi's and our lives.Abbas is something of a conduit for the other two. Although he is not the center of the story, what happens usually revolves around him.
The film really takes its time getting where its going, and only very slowly reveals its plot. This is sure to frustrate viewers. It left me a bit confused in my feelings regarding the picture in its first half hour, but as it reaches its finale any doubts were erased. Salur employs bleak but beautiful black and white photography. The snowy desert ranges of winter time Iran are haunting. The landscape adds more weight to my personal theory that desolation is often more beautiful than the grandest of extravagances. The camera always moves with the eye of an artist, and Salur is not afraid to employ patience and oddity in his setups.
In life, nothing really is ever what it seems. Even what appear to be (and sometimes are) betrayals end up as blessings in disguise. No one is on top of things. In the one who does seem to really get what he wants gets it by plagiarism. Which is not to say that the movie is totally bleak. No it is filled with some bittersweet moments of joy. Yadi and Sadry have moments of slapstick humor together, as does one joke involving the postman's bike - he has to be tackled so he can stop by Yadi, who waits for him and times it out. Even David Beckham turns up as a cardboard cut out sent to attract customers. Although nobody really wins, no one loses either. We'll be left with a flicker of hope, and for Sadry, bittersweet but ultimately uplifting gifts of life. Human's are strange animals, but we can see that there is hope for us all.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?