Posted at 3:27 PM on January 6, 2008
by Euan Kerr
Inspired by having chatted with Homayoun Ershadi last year, we sat down with "Taste of Cherry," his breakthrough film, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1997.
Both my beloved and I were tired, which is never the best state to watch a movie, and she soon tired of director Abbas Kiarostami's slow paced story. The film follows a man, Mr Badii as he drives around just outside Teheran, looking for someone to help bury his body after he commits suicide. Many of the shots are of a tan Range Rover driving slowly through the dusty backroads which snake through the desert terrain.
After 25 minutes or so I was watching alone.
I also found myself falling under Kiarostami's spell. Mr Badii encounters many people along the way, but most are horrified by his proposition. Eventually he finds someone to help him - or does he?
This is a film which spins questions both moral and practical at a viewer, and then somewhat brutally leaves many of the questions unanswered. This includes the ending, which, without giving too much away, raises even more questions, on a completely different subject.
This was Ershadi's first acting role, and his low key performance (very different from the "Baba" character he plays in"The Kite Runner") works very well in Kiarostami's cinematic scheme.
I know I am going to be pondering this one for a long time.