Shot entirely from the dashboard of a car and using (with one brief exception) just two camera angles - one trained towards the driver's seat, the other towards the passenger's - Kiarostami's digital film looks like fly-on-the-windscreen documentary, but isn't. Rather, it explores the predicament of six women and one child in today's Tehran, as they argue, joke, cajole and comfort each other during ten brief journeys; this being Kiarostami, of course, it also explores the knotty relationship between reality, fiction and truth, and between actors, audience and film-maker. Ostensibly, as the discussions cover love, sex, marriage, divorce, sex, parenthood, prostitution, independence and identity, the film's about the position of women in Iranian society, but it's also far more than that. Funny, surprising, illuminating, ambiguous and at times extremely moving, the film is a quietly audacious experiment in which its (primary) creator's determination to remove all visible traces of 'direction' from the equation makes for unusually forthright viewing. Pace Godard, Nick Ray is no longer alone in having been desirous - or indeed capable - of reinventing the cinema.
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