Despite its narrative simplicity, this is more complex than Abbas Kiarostami's earlier film, Where Is My Friend's House? (1987). Learning that the region in which he shot Where Is... has been devastated by an earthquake, the director (played by an actor) leaves Tehran, along with his son, to see whether his actors, especially the boy who played Ahmed, have survived. Quitting the clogged main road for perilous mountain routes, he's happy to discuss with various locals the details of the disaster, and its meaning (has God abandoned them?) - but will he reach his destination? Straddling the divide between fiction and documentary with graceful ease, this is both a subtle study in the ethics of film-making, and a compassionate (but never mawkish or depressing) portrait of courage and determination in the face of overwhelming grief and hardship.
Cast and crew