Celebrated Iranian writer-director Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, Close-up) once again casts his masterful cinematic gaze upon the modern sociopolitical landscape of his homeland, this time as seen through the eyes of one woman as she drives through the streets of Tehran over a period of several days. Her journey is comprised of ten conversations with various female passengers, including her sister, a hitchhiking prostitute and a jilted bride, as well as her imperious young son. As Kiarostami’s ‘dashboard cam’ eavesdrops on these lively, heart-wrenching road trips, a complex portrait of contemporary Iran comes sharply into focus. Calling it a ‘work of inspired simplicity,’ A.O. Scott in The New York Times wrote that Kiarostami, “in addition to being perhaps the most internationally admired Iranian filmmaker of the past decade, is also among the world masters of automotive cinema… He understands the automobile as a place of reflection, observation and, above all, talk.” –Zeitgeist Films
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30. Since then he has made many movies and has become one of the most important figures in contemporary Iranian film. He is also a major figure in the arts world, and has had numerous gallery exhibitions of his photography, short films and poetry. He is an iconic figure for what he has done, and he has achieved it all by believing in the arts and the creativity of his mind. —World Cinema Foundation
Fixed dashboard camera capturing slice-of-life; effusive in that respect, but equally providing insight into everyday issues facing women in modern Tehran, taking up the baton from Panahi’s Dayereh through Kiarostami’s own inimitable camera and cycle. A divorcee facing obstinacy from her own son, however affectionate; or, a moral confrontation with a prostitute - social, religious, economic contrasts, independence beneath subservience and objectification, an underlying maternity. Empathetic exchanges, with captivating authenticity.
Worked its way into my all-time favorites thanks to the strong performances in the simple package. Never a dull moment. Amin is the best kid ever.
Abbas Kiarostami's Shirin continues his journey into the avant-garde world of Five Dedicated to Ozu, his 2003 excursion into long take minimalist