7.7/10
22,671
101 user 103 critic

Taste of Cherry (1997)

Ta'm e guilass (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 26 November 1997 (France)
Trailer
1:16 | Trailer
An Iranian man drives his truck in search of someone who will quietly bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide.

Director:

Abbas Kiarostami
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Homayoun Ershadi ... Mr. Badii
Abdolrahman Bagheri Abdolrahman Bagheri ... Mr. Bagheri
Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari ... Soldier
Safar Ali Moradi Safar Ali Moradi ... The soldier
Mir Hossein Noori Mir Hossein Noori ... The seminarian
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ahmad Ansari Ahmad Ansari
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot without a proper script, relying on improvisations. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, as Mr. Badhi is driving past laborers looking for work, the same middle-aged white haired man, wearing a checkered sweater vest, is seen twice. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Badii: I don't want to give you a gun to kill me. I'm giving you a spade, a spade.
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Connections

Featured in Especial Cannes: 50 Anos de Festival (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

St. James Infirmary
(uncredited)
Often attributed to Irving Mills
Performed by Louis Armstrong
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User Reviews

 
Where we contemplate suicide from a totally different perspective
8 June 2019 | by RJBurke1942See all my reviews

Although I've seen many movies from other Iranian and Middle Eastern directors, this is the first I've watched from the late director, Abbas Kiarostami. And like some of those others - Nuri Ceylan from Turkey comes to mind - Kiarostami, in this story, exclusively concentrates on questions about the human condition. Specifically, it's about the self-destructive urge by one man. And it is here that Kiarostami inverts the whole idea of helping those who contemplate suicide.

Suicide, in itself, is a ready and obvious turn-off for many viewers, probably. And coupled with the apparent treacle-like pace of the narrative and the repetitive scenes of a lone man, Badii (Homayoun Ershadi), driving in and around hills outside Tehran, this story gives a whole new dimension to the idea of going over the same ground, again and again, to prove a point. And all the while we, as viewer, are inside the auto for most of this movie, up close and very personal....

But to avoid seeing this movie would be a big mistake, in my opinion.

I say that simply because the idea of suicide has probably occurred to most people, including myself, at some time in their lives. Whether that idea was part of Kiarostami's motivation for making this movie, we will never know, of course. I dare say it occurred to him, though.

At the first frame, we're in Baddii's well-worn Range Rover as he drives, his face set, his gaze wandering here and there, searching for a likely assistant for his plan to kill himself. In sequence, he stops a variety of men - a seminarian, a young soldier, a security guard; each man and Badii converse about his need to have somebody help him to suicide, Badii describing what a helper must do. Each time, Baddi has no success until, with a blindingly quick jump-cut, an old man, Bagheri (Abdolrahman Bagheri) is in the car, a helper who finally agrees to abide by Badii's wishes.

So, after taking Bagheri to close where he lives, Badii drives off, content that he has secured a deal; rapidly, however, he drives back in a fluster, as doubts creep into his mind. Frantically, he walks around the area until he finds the old man Bagheri to seek further assurance he will indeed help Badii next morning. Somewhat annoyed, the old man again gives his solemn promise. And stalks off.

Slowly then, Badii returns to his home/apartment, makes his final preparations, makes a point of turning off all the lights as he leaves, locks the door, leaves his car, and then takes a taxi back to the cherry tree, he had previously selected, at which he will terminate his life during the night, and as thunderstorms - a much-overused trope perhaps - begin.

It is there, then, that I will leave you to find out why Bagheri decided to help, and about Badii's fate that night. And about an absolutely unexpected ending.

It's a bleak story, but one that is played out in too many ways by thousands every day, more or less in every country on the planet, probably. Perhaps then, Kiarostami is urging us to think upon that more often as we all traverse our own daily ups and downs - and especially in relation to those who are nearest. Once seen, this is not a movie to forget.

Recommended for all, except toddlers obviously. Give it eight out of ten.


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Details

Country:

Iran | France

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

26 November 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Taste of Cherry See more »

Filming Locations:

Tehran, Iran

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,923
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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