Another subtle, deceptively simple and richly rewarding work of genius from Kiarostami, this Venice prizewinner opens on a long shot of a car negotiating a dusty mountain road, with driver and passengers arguing about where they are. Those who have seen the Koker Trilogy, especially And Life Goes On..., may ask whether Kiarostami is simply repeating himself, but fans will know there's always more to his work than first meets the eye. Sure enough, once the car reaches the Kurdistan village of Siaf Dareh, the ambiguities and mysteries proliferate and interweave. Are the men in the village treasure-hunters, as they tell a boy, the telecom engineers as the villagers assume to be, or something more sinister? Why is their apparent leader curious about the boy's dying grandma? And why, when Tehran calls on his mobile and he needs to move to higher ground, does he always drive to the cemetery, where an invisible man sings from a hole in the ground? This engrossing and beautiful film succeeds on many levels. As witty, almost absurdist comedy, it offers lovely visual and verbal gags. And as an ethnographic/philosophical study of the relationships between ancient and modern, rural and urban, devotion and directionlessness, it's intriguing and illuminating.
The Wind Will Carry Us
Cast and crew