Three actresses at different stages of their career. One from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, one popular star of today known throughout the country and a young girl longing to attend a drama conservatory.
Well-known actress Behnaz Jafari is left distraught when she comes across a provincial girl's video plea for help, after her family prevents her from taking up her studies at the Tehran drama conservatory. Behnaz abandons her shoot and turns to filmmaker Jafar Panahi to help with the young girl's troubles. They travel by car to the rural northwest, where they have amusing encounters with the charming and generous folk of the girl's mountain village. But Behnaz and Jafar also discover that old traditions die hard.Written by
I had reached the height of uncertainty. Wishing to know the names. The hand of the supervisor made the hammer dance in the air and broke the breath of immaculate dawn. Against the red metal tip hanging on the school pine. Sounds, rings, rings. Silence tortured innocence. The first prayer was for me an obvious curse. Standing. Sitting. I did not say: present. In this case, you are absent.
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Taste of Iran
«I've always dreamed of being an actress.»
It is a road movie basically all about people talking and wandering, with a particular camera focus on Nature and the simplicity of life. In this kind of fashion, it constantly resembles the late Abbas Kiarostami's metafictional style: the director, Panahi, pays homage to his compatriot, elaborating on very similar scenes - note to Taste of Cherry (1997) & Through the Olive Trees (1994) -, camera angles, themes and issues. He also works with non-professional actors, except for Behnaz Jafari and himself, who both play themselves, choosing not to credit his alter ego to another person, in contrast only in this last chapter with what Kiarostami would do. Based in a simple, but effective story, it works as Iran's self-portrait, exposing its religious, oppressive, sexist and misogynist traditions. Saying that, (NOT ONLY) in the movie, there's an urgency about mentioning women's role in Iranian society. The director's sense of humanity is so bright that he tackles this worrying subjects tracing a very thin line between a very fine humour and deep seriousness. Suicide is also a subject, but sadly gets somehow lost on the way. As a social commentary that lies on the plot's outcome to declare a "victory", audiences may not comprehend it at the end or even feel unrewarded, but I assure you: it's all there.
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