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Where Is My Friend's House?
Time Out says
Familiar in Britain only to those who've caught his work at festivals or noted his name as writer of The White Balloon, Iran's Abbas Kiarostami has been acclaimed a key film-maker of the '90s. Judging by this (and by And Life Goes On...), he's a major talent - his work an enthralling blend of low-key realism and a more thought-provoking, sometimes playful formalism. Here young Ahmed tries to return a schoolmate's notebook he's unwittingly taken home. (Its loss might get its owner expelled.) Obstacles abound, chiefly in the shape of unhelpful, domineering adults, but also because, while Ahmed knows his pal lives in the next village, he's no idea of the address. While the film is often funny, it's also very moving. The repetitive structure of the boy's quest, and the poetic evocation of the landscape he moves through, highlight his vulnerability, frustration and, finally, his sterling determination.