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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).

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Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1997, Taste of Cherry follows the plight of a desolate man, searching for someone to bury him, as he contemplates suicide. Although dark in tone, the film is ... More »


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