A Taste of Cherry

Film
5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
A man drives around villages and the desert hills offering a series of carefully selected men a lift and unusually well paid work; he's not looking for a pick-up but, as we discover after a while, someone to help in his planned suicide. Characteristically, Kiarostami's Palme d'Or winner is low on narrative drive, slowly but steadily revealing more and more information, visual and verbal, until we are totally caught up in his protagonist's psychological and ethical dilemma. (Suicide is forbidden to Muslims.) As ever, the subtle, deceptively simple mise-en-scène speaks volumes, notably a nightmare of noisy industrialism in the desert, and the remarkable penultimate scene, which goes even further in its minimalist ambiguity than the final shots of the last two movies of Kiarostami's trilogy.

Release details

Duration:
99 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Abbas Kiarostami
Screenwriter:
Abbas Kiarostami
Cast:
Homayoon Irshadi
Abdol Hossain Bagheri
Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari
Safar Ali Moradi
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1 person listening

RUMI ROAMS THE RURAL IRAN IN A REIGN OF WISDOM -the 1998 Palmed or winner at Cannes is a philosophical treatise about mortality and a cinematic discussion about the role of politics and religion in everyday life by a very enlightened and intriguing intellectual mind called ABBAS KIAROTAMI ,a righteously celebrated cinematic magician who weaves wisdom out of vast empty frames of the iranian vistas in the suburban dusty hills of Teheran . The morality is neither challenged nor discussed as we proceed on a cruise in a Range Rover in the arid sinister suburbs of Teheran with mr .BAIDII [HAMAYOUN ARSHADI ]. He is intent on recruiting an accomplice who can help him commit suicide which he wants to label as an unintentional death to escape his own responsibility in the moral dilemma . HE has brewed a simple plan to take an overdose of sleeping pills at night and lie in a solitary grave in the wilderness at and wants someone to call upon him in the morning to see if he is still alive or dead and then ACCORDINGLY help him out of his possible grave or just fill the pit up so he can be absolved from his excruciating life . The idea is menacingly dangerous and ingenious and it forms the crux of his conversations with the three men he picks up as he cruises around his future grave and propositions them with a lump some to be an accomplice . The Islamic ideology of suicide being totally forbidden is discussed here in context to what rights does a human being have IN CONTEXT to taking his life into his own hands and whether it is justified to lead a miserable life where you spread your negativity to affect the community dependent on your existence , if your ego is not satisfied with your existence itself then what justification arises for juxtaposing a wasted existential life over the rest of humanity . Abbas has dealt with the crucial universal eternal dilemma and theosophical discussion immaculately as he throws his three protagonists into an abysss filled with dusty roads and eathen mountains being metaphorically shifted by huge man made cranes -the three other characters who constitute the would be accomplices are picked randomly from the fringes of a suffering social milieu where humanity is both absolved of its sins and yet the spirit is redeemed in its glory . The first character is a Kurdish soldier who collectively as a race have suffered at the hands of the entire humanity and have witnessed death itself very closely and yet the youth is loath to the ideology of being a grave digger for a fellow human being even for a huge sum of money ,this first part beautifully absolves KURDISh as they have never been redeemed before from the kurdish massacres comitted by british under Churchill who called them barbaric tribes to the present day tragedy in mosul and kirkuik with america and turkey crushing the ethnics . After the young soldier escapes ,BIDAII meets an Afghan war refugee who ia a seminary student from MAZAR E SHARIF IN afghanistan ,and here we have another war victim of global injustice who has to live and labour in a foreign land as his country is ruined and ravaged in a irrelevant war itself ,yet he struggles to overcome a very harsh existence in a desperate doom strengthened by his faith alone .he turns him down on religious grounds after a discussion based on quranic inscriptions . The ideology is clear by now as to whatever the torment and turmoil of bidaii ,the human existence is not an easy disposition and everyone has their share of the burden to carry so does mr. bidaii possess the right to ask another person for help in an act of self -destruction which is his individual right but also is not acceptable to the rest of humanity on moral grounds . The third encounter is the most challenging and needs to be witnessed as this is a turkish taxidermist and his monologue mentions the word describing life as the sweet and bitter taste of cherry mentioned in the title ,HE AGREES to the pact on grounds he needs the money to buy medical care for his critically ill child who is excruciatingly dying of cancer and he has brought him to iran for treatment as it is more optimistic to seek care in iran then his native land . the rest needs to be seen as abbas has evolved a beautiful conclusion to his most intelligible debate about the human condition . the movie is not a moral monologue or a parade of individuals to judge humanity but an intellectual discussion about human rights and the rights of the divine existence as defined by Islam . i have never seen such a celestially ethereal celebration of divinity as established by Islam with respect to the rights of an individual and his relationship with faith itself . Abbas has shot this in an earthy ,diffuse light in an obscure landscape with scant vegetation and a vast construction site where bulldozers shift piles of earth in metaphorical existentialism and also the idea is borne out that everything we have come from the earth itself and has to go within it again completing the persistent cycle of existence itself . A minimalist movie shot in simplistic splendour but in a soul searching glory worthy of a great scholar as abbas reminds us of the eternal wisdom of another ancient iranian intellectual called RUMI ,but in a totally contemporary yet metaphysical metamorphosis which discusses some very sensitive issues about the five most crucial states today like Iran ,Afghanistan ,Turkey,Iraq and Kurdistan as the four characters within mingle and indulge in a chaste yet irrevernt debate concerning life and death within the prevails of a moral dilemma ,encasing god and religion and the basic question of human right to be freed of its physical armour in a sardonic demeanour worthy of jean paul sartre . the movie is that celestial bliss and torture that life can taste like in itself and that is an irrevocable riddle in itself . that it has been able to totally deceive and defeat its political metaphors in a humane manner is the most intelligent discussion ever to be celebrated by cinema in history about existence


RUMI ROAMS THE RURAL IRAN IN A REIGN OF WISDOM -the 1998 Palmed or winner at Cannes is a philosophical treatise about mortality and a cinematic discussion about the role of politics and religion in everyday life by a very enlightened and intriguing intellectual mind called ABBAS KIAROTAMI ,a righteously celebrated cinematic magician who weaves wisdom out of vast empty frames of the iranian vistas in the suburban dusty hills of Teheran . The morality is neither challenged nor discussed as we proceed on a cruise in a Range Rover in the arid sinister suburbs of Teheran with mr .BAIDII [HAMAYOUN ARSHADI ]. He is intent on recruiting an accomplice who can help him commit suicide which he wants to label as an unintentional death to escape his own responsibility in the moral dilemma . HE has brewed a simple plan to take an overdose of sleeping pills at night and lie in a solitary grave in the wilderness at and wants someone to call upon him in the morning to see if he is still alive or dead and then ACCORDINGLY help him out of his possible grave or just fill the pit up so he can be absolved from his excruciating life . The idea is menacingly dangerous and ingenious and it forms the crux of his conversations with the three men he picks up as he cruises around his future grave and propositions them with a lump some to be an accomplice . The Islamic ideology of suicide being totally forbidden is discussed here in context to what rights does a human being have IN CONTEXT to taking his life into his own hands and whether it is justified to lead a miserable life where you spread your negativity to affect the community dependent on your existence , if your ego is not satisfied with your existence itself then what justification arises for juxtaposing a wasted existential life over the rest of humanity . Abbas has dealt with the crucial universal eternal dilemma and theosophical discussion immaculately as he throws his three protagonists into an abysss filled with dusty roads and eathen mountains being metaphorically shifted by huge man made cranes -the three other characters who constitute the would be accomplices are picked randomly from the fringes of a suffering social milieu where humanity is both absolved of its sins and yet the spirit is redeemed in its glory . The first character is a Kurdish soldier who collectively as a race have suffered at the hands of the entire humanity and have witnessed death itself very closely and yet the youth is loath to the ideology of being a grave digger for a fellow human being even for a huge sum of money ,this first part beautifully absolves KURDISh as they have never been redeemed before from the kurdish massacres comitted by british under Churchill who called them barbaric tribes to the present day tragedy in mosul and kirkuik with america and turkey crushing the ethnics . After the young soldier escapes ,BIDAII meets an Afghan war refugee who ia a seminary student from MAZAR E SHARIF IN afghanistan ,and here we have another war victim of global injustice who has to live and labour in a foreign land as his country is ruined and ravaged in a irrelevant war itself ,yet he struggles to overcome a very harsh existence in a desperate doom strengthened by his faith alone .he turns him down on religious grounds after a discussion based on quranic inscriptions . The ideology is clear by now as to whatever the torment and turmoil of bidaii ,the human existence is not an easy disposition and everyone has their share of the burden to carry so does mr. bidaii possess the right to ask another person for help in an act of self -destruction which is his individual right but also is not acceptable to the rest of humanity on moral grounds . The third encounter is the most challenging and needs to be witnessed as this is a turkish taxidermist and his monologue mentions the word describing life as the sweet and bitter taste of cherry mentioned in the title ,HE AGREES to the pact on grounds he needs the money to buy medical care for his critically ill child who is excruciatingly dying of cancer and he has brought him to iran for treatment as it is more optimistic to seek care in iran then his native land . the rest needs to be seen as abbas has evolved a beautiful conclusion to his most intelligible debate about the human condition . the movie is not a moral monologue or a parade of individuals to judge humanity but an intellectual discussion about human rights and the rights of the divine existence as defined by Islam . i have never seen such a celestially ethereal celebration of divinity as established by Islam with respect to the rights of an individual and his relationship with faith itself . Abbas has shot this in an earthy ,diffuse light in an obscure landscape with scant vegetation and a vast construction site where bulldozers shift piles of earth in metaphorical existentialism and also the idea is borne out that everything we have come from the earth itself and has to go within it again completing the persistent cycle of existence itself . A minimalist movie shot in simplistic splendour but in a soul searching glory worthy of a great scholar as abbas reminds us of the eternal wisdom of another ancient iranian intellectual called RUMI ,but in a totally contemporary yet metaphysical metamorphosis which discusses some very sensitive issues about the five most crucial states today like Iran ,Afghanistan ,Turkey,Iraq and Kurdistan as the four characters within mingle and indulge in a chaste yet irrevernt debate concerning life and death within the prevails of a moral dilemma ,encasing god and religion and the basic question of human right to be freed of its physical armour in a sardonic demeanour worthy of jean paul sartre . the movie is that celestial bliss and torture that life can taste like in itself and that is an irrevocable riddle in itself . that it has been able to totally deceive and defeat its political metaphors in a humane manner is the most intelligent discussion ever to be celebrated by cinema in history about existence