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The Deserted Station
Time Out says
Besides making movies and writing poetry, Iran's Abbas Kiarostami has won acclaim as a photographer, mostly for stunning pictures of mountainous landscapes. Once, on a trip to the desert with producer/director Raissian, the car broke down. Kiarostami consequently wrote a treatment, the basis for this film's screenplay. Indeed, it begins with a photographer (Manouchehri) and his wife (Hatami) driving from Tehran to Mashad on a pilgrimage in the hope that the woman's third pregnancy will this time end well. Then they break down in the desert. They find a village, but to get the requisite part, the husband needs to travel to the next town with the village teacher, mechanic and general Mr Fixit. The wife, meanwhile agrees to keep an eye on his young charges. Towards the end, it gets a little difficult to read with any precision, as the symbolism's clearly culturally specific; but the overall emotional dynamics are accessible enough, and the acting, crisp camerawork and fine music all help to hold the attention.