Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director


Iran, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kirostami returns to the harshly beau­tiful landscape of his last two features, con­structing not so much a third part of a trilogy but rather an alternative view of Life and Nothing More.

Begining with the actor who played the direc­tor in the previous film explaining that he is the only professional actor in this film, we see him interview a score of village girls to find a suitable leading lady. The first indication that 'real' life is going to deflect the course of this movie-within-a-movie comes when Tahereh refuses to wear a peasant dress. Just as the camera crew must work around country roads inaccessible due to post-earthquake construction so too the 'fiction' of the film is compelled to detour around the prior relationships of its two principles.

Before going into production, the young brick­layer Hossein had courted Tahereh and was rejected for being illiterate and not having a house. Taking advantage of the 'co-star' situa­tion he renews his appeal and, ever the pragmat­ic dreamer views the recent earthquake as a great social leveller-he may have always had nothing but now so too does Tahereh's family.

With sublime simplicity Kiarostami wraps his wry and deeply humanist observations of life and survival in intricate convolutions of cine­matic fact and fabncation-in one of the film's tour de force the director has to reshoot a scene five times because Tahereh refuses to employ the term of respect that a traditional Iranian woman would apply to her husband. Through the Olive Trees questions what is real and non-real-behind and infront of the camera-in a rich, rewarding meditation on the nature of love and cinematic illusion.

See also...


'Abbas Kiarostami has had extensive influence on world filmmaking over his 30-year career, particularly in Iran and developing countries. 10 on Ten,a self-contained masterclass on cinema, succinctly … More »


Iran, 2004
Abbas Kiarostami Recommends Programme 1 IranThe Ladies' (Zananeh)Situated in a public park within the bustling heart of Tehran is a ladies' public toilet. Run by an old woman, it is a shelter for gir… More »


Iran,France, 2004
Five Iran/FranceOne of the two Abbas Kiarostami films to be screened at this year's Festival'both of which premiered at Cannes this year'Five is an utterly contemplative and meditative abstract work.… More »


Iran, 2004
Joy of Madness (Lezate Divanegi) Iran Joy of Madness is the remarkable debut feature of 15-year-old Hana Makhmalbaf, a 'making-of' documentary of At Five in the Afternoon, directed by Hana's older si… More »


Despite landmines, kidnapping, assassination and death by dehydration and starvation, thousands of determined Shiite Muslims have been pouring across the Iran-Iraq border since the fall of Saddam Hus… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.