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TASTE OF CHERRY

Iran, 1996 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Filmed with the piercing intensity of a parable, Iranian helmer Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry follows a desperate man on the verge of suicide who seeks someone willing to bury him discreetly. One of the director's darkest and most personal movies, the story has a bleak premise which is turned around by another character's persuasive argument that the sensations of nature can console people.

"Homayun Ershadi is restrained but intense as the would-be suicide, whose motives are wisely never explained... cinematographer Homayun Payvar uses an attractive palette of browns and ochres for the films desolate backdrop of earth and earth-movers. Kiarostami cuts the film masterfully, using fable-like repetitions to underline his points." - Variety

"Abbas Kiarostami's film (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 1997) is an unexpected affirmation of the very things that make life worth living told with greal simplicity and eloquence... Flowing smoothly through a series of encounters and conversations, it holds the attention by the quality of its ideas and the measure of its humanity... Once hailed as a natural successor to the humanist traditions of Jean Renoir and Satyajit Ray, Kiarostami merits the comparison here with an understated, precisely scripted work, rich in thought and filled with affection for people and the circumstances of their life." - Screen International

Born in Tehran in 1940, Abbas Kiarostami graduated from the College of Fine Arts. He co-founded the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in 1970 and directed the first of many shorts, Bread and Alley, the same year. Kiarostami's first feature, The Traveller, appeared in 1974 and the director has since gone on to cement his reputation as, arguably, the pre-eminent Iranian filmmaker. Kiarostami's filmography includes The Report (1977), First Graders (1984), Homework (1989), And Life Goes On... (1992) and Through the Olive Trees (1994).

See also...

10 ON TEN


'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 »

ABBAS KIAROSTAMI RECOMMENDS PROGRAMME 1

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 »

FIVE

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 »

JOY OF MADNESS

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 »

pilgrimage

Iran
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 »

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