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Iran, 1990 (MIFF 2003, Abbas Kiarostami – Iranian Master)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

"Werner Herzog calls this 'the greatest documentary on filmmaking I have ever seen.' Much stranger than fiction, Close-Up recounts the bizarre case of Hosem Sabzian, a frustrated film buff who pretended to be well-know director Moshen Makhmalbaf. Under the guise of preparing a new project, the imposter became intimate with the Ahkankhaha, a well-to-do but naive family. His ruse, however was soon discovered, and an ambitious magazine reporter characterized Sabzian as a dangerous conman.

"Kiarostami obtained permission to film Sabzian's trial and afterwards persuaded all involved (except the journalist) to recreate the event. Poignant, compelling and frequently humorous, Close-Up works on many levels. It documents the vulnerable nature of the human ego, highlighting every person's need for recognition and high self-esteem. Its mix of cinema-verite and re-enactment underscores the subjective nature of the 'filmed touch'. Moreover the issues of employment and poverty, which emerge at Sabzian's trial, render the film a subtle societal critique. Ironically, Close-Up also fulfils the dreams of both Sabzian and the family he duped—allowing them to be in the movies at last."—San Fransisco Film Festival

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 »

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