Sunday, 20 April 2014

Reflections on Abbas Kiarostami

I have just finished watching 9 Kiarostami films. These represent all his features between 1990 to 2012 (with the exception of “Life And Nothing More” from 1992 which I did not see). I only partially watched the feature-documentaries “10 on Ten” (2004) and “Five” (2003).

During this time I deliberately avoided watching most of the extras provided with the feature films. I did not want to prejudice my viewing of the films. I know that Kiarostami is generally held in high esteem (wins prizes at various film festivals etc.) however I am also aware that some people question his reputation – is there any real substance to his films? 

Previously I had only seen The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), probably back when it was first released in the cinema. I remember at the time being enchanted with the village portrayed in the film but I was left confused – was I meant to understand more than I did?

I have followed Iranian films for quite some time now – going back about 16 years I began to watch all the Iranian films I could see in art house cinemas and at film festivals. Hollywood, or any commercially-driven film industry, is an entertainment business – they do not want to address the important human questions that the world faces. I loved that Iranian cinema shone a light on these issues.

With an open mind I began by watching Close-Up on 8/2/14. On the 29/3/14 I finished by watching ABC Africa – I deliberately left this film to the end as it was an assignment that he was asked to do and so not an original Kiarostami work - and by partially watching 10 on Ten.

My overall impression is of a very important artist:

·         Photographically he is innovative – look at Five, the colour palette of Taste of Cherry, Shirin and the car windscreen reflections (they become pure art in Like Someone In Love). Look at the remarkable photography of ABC Africa. I understand that Kiarostami practices photography and has been published. 

·         Thematically he is radical – there is a profound exploration of what cinema is in his work. He presented questions on the value of reality vs fiction that really challenged me – that made me question why I feel that reality is in some way more authentic than fiction. The final scene of Taste of Cherry is an extremely brave move from Kiarostami. Shirin is a radical film that turns the concept of cinema entertainment upside-down.

Kiarostami looks at the human experience – suicide in Taste of Cherry and the flipside which is the desire to live/Traditional village life in The Wind Will Carry Us that contrasts with Modern Life/Dissatisfaction with reality and the desire for a fictitious life in Close-Up as represented by Sabzian but equally by Kiarostami himself who takes these real life events and transforms them into his own work of fiction – I asked the question why does Kiarostami do this just as I asked why did Sabzian do this?

·         Conceptually Kiarostami is an original – in some scenes in Ten we are denied completely seeing a protagonist though we hear her interaction with the character.

In Ten I did not know if what I was seeing was real or scripted and it made me feel uncomfortable. In Certified Copy the characters morph into archetypes – they lose their individuality and become archetypes – love, affection, conflict, respect, desire, uncertainty, mistrust etc. Different facets of humanity become reflected in the characters of Juliette Binoche and William Shell. Somehow the film had a universal perspective that was reflected in these 2 characters – a profound artistic achievement!

In Like Someone In Love (2012) I felt that Kiarostami changed his method and I found the result to be less satisfying than in his previous works.

Kiarostami has a gentle style of film-making. It never feels that he is trying to convince us concerning the material in the film – he trusts that the images and emotions will themselves make an impression on us.
All of the films I watched have left me with the desire to rewatch them again very soon. I am also very keen to watch his earlier features/documentaries.

Close-Up (1990) 8/2/14 Criterion BluRay
I am fascinated by what I have seen – I was so puzzled by what was real vs staged? Who are real life protagonists vs actors?

I am still confused if the courtroom drama was entirely fictitious or if it was in fact a real procedure that was instigated and directed by Kiarostami. I read that Sabzian’s responses were scripted by Kiarostami – did the family know this? The questions this film brought up for me just go on and on!

I changed sides so many times – it is interesting how my view of Sabzian was so easily altered by testimony from the family, his own testimony, the presence of his mother etc. I noticed how impressionable my own judgements were.

I am tempted to draw the conclusion that the Iranian court system allows for a very human experience but I am not sure if Kiarostami’s staging of the procedure reflects in any way the reality of the Iranian system?

The film leaves so much unresolved – does Kiarostami purposely leave us unclear as to Sabzian’s motives – was he working to commit a crime or simply escaping from his mundane life into this persona of an important director? Does Kiarostami have a view on Sabzian’s motivations?  

Just as Sabzian seeks to transform his life into a fictitious story so does Kiarostami seek to transform this real-life event into a work of fiction.

I am almost certain that one of the policemen who brings Sabzian into the courtroom at the beginning of the trial is in fact Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

The use of the flowers, intermittent dialogue recording of Sabzian and Makhmalbaf on the motorbike and the music all show how carefully constructed the scene is. Yet somehow I do not feel cheated to learn this – somehow Kiarostami leaves me with an impression of having watched the flow of life without judging it too much. I feel that Kiarostami has redeemed Sabzian’s character by the end of the film regardless of what his motives were.

I greatly appreciated that music was only played at the conclusion of the film – this method that Kiarostami uses enhances the power that the music has on us. Less Is More!

This film is extremely complex – emotionally, intellectually, technically and philosophically. An extraordinary achievement!

I listened to the excellent commentary on the Criterion edition - Jonathan Rosenbaum is very informative, speaks very fluidly and brings great insight to the film. Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa brings an authentic Iranian voice.
Through The Olive Trees (1992) 15/2/14 MK2 DVD 

I am conscious that I have not seen Life and Nothing More from 1992 which was made in between Close-Up and this film.

MK2 DVD print is excellent – it only has French subtitles.

I found this to be a very touching film – by the end of the film I almost have the sense that I have been dreaming (I had this sensation also after Close-Up).

There is a gentle rhythm to the film and performances. The acting is superb – Kiarostami gets such wonderful performances from non-actors and from the professional actor playing the director.

There is a gentle repetition to the film that serves to focus my attention  and makes me listen more carefully – story of Houssein, the acting scenes etc.

I was so touched by Houssein’s sincerity – it is wonderful to watch. I live in a modern society that can be very cynical. It is such a breath of fresh air to watch these people. I feel better, more human, having watched the film.

Somehow Kiarostami seems to achieve a great deal by doing very little. Less Is More!

As with so many of the films of Kiarostami that I watched this film reminded me of the important things in life.

The final scene is one of great poetry – in the long-shot we see the wind blowing through the olive trees.  The life of Houssein is but a small part in the story of nature that is constantly unfolding. Somehow it does not seem to matter what her answer was – it is all part of the vast canvas of nature. Kiarostami is more interested in looking at life rather than serving the expectations of the audience who desire a narrative story with a conclusion. In this way I feel that he succeeds in highlighting humanity and the film left a very gentle impression on me. I greatly admire Houssein and that remains undiminished.
I was interested to see Jafar Panahi as an assistant director within the story of the film.

Taste of Cherry (1997) 27/2/14 MK2 DVD

This MK2 edition only has French subtitles.

I found this to be an unusual and challenging film.I have the impression of being more relaxed at the end of the film. I have had this impression on all Kiarostami films that I have watched up to this point.

Before watching this film I had heard that Mr. Badii is looking for someone to assist in his planned suicide. So I knew what he was doing in the car.

Despite knowing this I still found the opening car scenes difficult to watch – I kept on feeling that he was a sexual predator (does Kiarostami play on this? – I only need your hands not your mind, it will only take 10 minutes or so, I will pay you well, You need the money etc?). In an extreme case he could be looking to seriously harm or murder someone. I was struck at how threatening a car becomes – how vulnerable a passenger can be and how predatory a driver can be.

Is Kiarostami highlighting how certain groups of people (particularly where poverty is involved) are open to exploitation?

I greatly admire that Kiarostami does not give us a reason why Mr Badii is planning his own suicide – what got him to that particular state of mind is unimportant (it will vary from person to person, place to place) – Kiarostami wants to shine a light on the state of mind that Mr Badii is experiencing – I feel it makes the film more universal.

Again I am amazed at the sincerity of the Iranian people that we see in this film. It is in contrast to the modern society that I live in and I admire it greatly.

The Afghan trainee priest gives us a Muslim perspective on life, death and suicide. It is beautiful how Kiarostami leaves the impact to fall on us gently – like falling snow.

The Turkish man has a profound wisdom based on his life experience. I saw a parallel with a story involving Buddha teaching a young woman that there is no household that is untouched by the tragedy of death. The story of the broken finger is clear and a brilliant way to illustrate that it is our state of mind that blinds us to what is important. He has real dignity, compassion, strength and wisdom – it is wonderful that a film should highlight the wisdom of this elderly man.

The final scene depicting the filming of the story is a very radical move on Kiarostami’s part. He dares to explicitly show us that what we have seen is in fact fiction – he risks us reacting negatively to all that we have seen up to this point of the story. I do not believe that Kiarostami is mocking in any way any previous reactions to what we have seen – I think he is saying that what is important is that we look at these human issues and whether or not it is through fiction or documentary does not matter. 

This film seems to have divided people – I do not know if the final scene is the primary reason for people’s negative reaction. The film itself is radical in so may ways - I would guess that more than a half of this film takes place inside a jeep – also the final outcome for Mr Badii is unclear.

Again I feel richer for having watched this film. I will be very interested to see, when I rewatch the film, if my judgement is in anyway influenced by the final scene that I will have already seen. I suspect that the performances and story are so strong that I will be engaged by the film just as I was the first time.

This film was a brave choice by Cannes for the Palme D’Or.

I immedietly thought about Bergman’s Summer With Monika after watching this film – I recently watched Monika for the first time and I was left feeling so concerned for Monika at the end of the film (so persuasive was the direction and performance of Harriet Andersson) that when I saw her in the interview on the Criterion edition as an elderly woman, I was genuinely relieved to see that she was in good health and that she had led a good life. Her performance was so powerful that I believed that she was doomed to a life of destruction and suffering at the film’s end. I was left asking myself how would the film have been if Bergman had added an extra scene showing us the film set and Harriet Andersson being directed by Bergman? The thought makes me admire even more the bravery that Kiarostami showed after having worked so hard to engage us in this fictional story of Mr Badii.

I was very interested to read Jonathan Rosenbam relating that the film had been released in Italy with the final scene removed. Certainly on a philosophical/artistic level this alters the film dramatically.

Again Jafar Panahi was an assistant on the film.

Note 28/4/14 - I watched Three Colours White yesterday evening and I immedietly thought of Mr Badii when I saw the Mikolaj character.

The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) 1/3/14 MK2 DVD

This edition contains English subtitles.

As I said in my intro I saw this film back in the cinema and remember being confused – was I meant to understand more than I did?

I noted that this was the fourth film which only contained music at the film’s end – it seems to be a Kiarostami trait.

If I understand the plot correctly it is this – a team are sent to a Kurdish village to follow an elderly woman, whose death is believed to be imminent, in order that they can report then on the traditional burial ceremony which will follow - I had to find this information on the internet as it was not clear to me from watching the film.

I felt privileged to have spent 2 hours in this village. I found the village to be extraordinarily beautiful – texture of the walls, streets, houses etc. Perhaps the reality for those living there is a much harsher experience. We (modern city dwellers)so often romanticise this kind of life.

I came away with the feeling that these people are engaging with life in a much more meaningful and authentic way than the society in which I live. The work of these people shaped the land around them and fed them.
When I think about how the society in which I live in seems dominated by ingratitude and a sense of entitlement I am drawn to the strength of these people. The agitation of people in modern cities contrasts sharply with the contentment of these people.

In contrast to the villagers the team leader seems to be doing nothing of substance. The “importance” of what he is doing seems absurd against the backdrop of the villagers who must work to survive. His mobile phone calls seem ridiculous against the rhythm of the village life.

Interestingly there is a strong emphasis on education – the quoting of poets, kid who is so concerned with his studies.

There is a wonderful integrity to these people and they have a strong sense of purpose and place in the society.

The film really engaged me even though there is no direct narrative.

The images are poetic and we get a rare insight into a traditional way of life. Again, as with all Kiarostami films to date, I felt all the more rich for having viewed the film.

I understand that Kiarostami decided not to submit any future flms to film festivals for competition stating he felt he had already won enough prizes – what a fascinating man!

Ten (2002)4/3/14 MK2 DVD

This edition has English subtitles.

I chose to skip ABC Africa (2001) as this was an assignment that was commissioned by a section of the United Nations. I wanted to focus on Kiarostami’s chosen projects in order to see his style develop.
Immedietly the style and feeling of this film felt different!

The opening scene between the mother and son felt very harsh to me. I was shocked at how the mother descended into a bitter argument with her very young son and how she threw her adult problems onto him.
I found it hard to understand why she was picking up these women in her car. I read somewhere afterwards that she was a taxi driver but I did not find any other reference to back this up.

It has been written that this film may have been Kiarostami responding to the criticism that he does not deal with women in his films – he has stated that the difficulties around filming women are complex in Iran particularly if men are present.

Certainly through these films we learn something of the difficulties that women face in Iran and in many countries worldwide – Divorce, Marriage, Women’s Sense of Duty, Religion, Women’s Sexual Role etc. – the protagonist is clearly a modern educated woman which contrasts with the elderly lady who we can surmise is poor, probably from the countryside, uneducated and strongly religious.

The woman that we follow throughout the film is a complex and very real character – she is bitter towards her son. I felt a she had a lack of compassion towards her sister. She is clearly an open minded woman as we can see in her curiosity towards the 2 female prostitutes that journey in her car for a short time. She is intelligent, modern (attractive clothing) and determined (she instigated a divorce). She questions the role of religion. She is an aggressive driver etc.

The film is very simple – the camera never leaves the car. In this respect it is radical and goes a step beyond Taste Of Cherry– the forced intimacy of the car, the confined setting, the intense way that we observe these characters. It forces us to look at them. It gives us time to study them perhaps in a way we would not in other settings. 

The film did not seem to force any message as far as I could see – although it is clear that women face certain pressures in Iranian society.

I somewhat tired of the mother-son arguments – this is true to life as most conversations of verbal abuse become tiring and difficult to watch or listen to.

It is a radical experiment in filmmaking – 10 encounters filmed in the enclosed space of a car. Themes are subtle. There is no heightened drama. We are given no resolution to the Mother-Son argument. Sister scene – again no resolution (we do not follow the sisters to the restaurant etc.)

I was interested to note that he selected the footage from a total of 23 hours that were filmed.

The music at the end of the film contrasted with the generally hard style of the film. 

It felt like real shift in theme and tone from his previous films.

I have been writing up to now that Kiarostami’s films left me feeling relaxed but that changed with this film.

Five (2003) 15/3/14 MK2 DVD

I watched the first segment and then I just flicked quickly through the other segments.

It felt like the project of an Art Student. All the segments have the common theme of the tide. 

It was fascinating how the interaction of the object with the tide in Segment 1 became a drama simply because Kiarostami forced us to watch this real life event that we would otherwise not see unless we were quietly sitting on this part of the beach ourselves.

All camera shots were static – he did some wonderful manipulation of the focus/colours in the segment with the dogs.

This feature highlights Kiarostami as a photographer as well as an experimental film-maker.

I will rewatch sometime when I am in the mood for this kind of piece.

Shirin (2008) 15/3/14 BFI DVD

It is now 5 years since Ten. Since that feature he seems to have been only involved in Five, 10 on Ten and Roads of Kiarostami.

I applaud the BFI for publishing this important and challenging film in an excellent DVD presentation.

From the beginning of the film I was captivated. The image of women’s faces in a darkened theatre makes for some really remarkable photography. The headscarves they wear almost act as a frame to their faces and this makes the photography even more artistic to me.

Throughout the film my attention was competed for by the subtitled “story” and the “story” reflected in these womens’ faces.

The story is an Iranian type Romeo and Juliet – heightened tragedy, heightened love, poetry, wisdom, intense suffering. All of this accompanied by the womens’ faces is very powerful.

The story is told from a woman’s perspective so naturally I made a connection with the women “watching” the story.

It is profound that I believed I could feel the essence of these women as I watched – Kiarostami has obviously edited footage of these women together with certain parts of the narrative story. For example, at moments where wisdom or life-experience is highlighted in the story he shows us more elderly women.
I found the images to be full of tenderness and humanity – was I projecting that onto these women?
I was very compelled by both the narrative story and the story that I believed I saw in the faces of these women.

I learnt afterwards that the women audience were filmed by Kiarostami in a situation that was completely independent of the Shirin story.

I found the film to be a masterpiece – perhaps my favourite Kiarostami so far? Visually it is highly original, beautiful (what could be more beautiful than the expressive faces of women?) and entertaining (the pacing and editing from face to face has a flowing rhythm that made the 91 minutes  pass by effortlessly – quite an achievement!)

The pairing of the womens’ faces to the narrative underpins the common humanity that we all share and the complex and empathetic nature of the female.

Philosophically/Conceptually Challenging – Kiarostami has reversed the viewing process. Usually we look at the screen – here we look at the “audience”. It is a bold, brave and radical thing to do. It seems to comment on the essence of why we watch cinema – to empathise, to feel!.

It raised the question with me - what would it look like if we filmed an audience viewing different films? What would it be like to watch an audience looking at Man of Steel? - in contrast what would it be like to watch an audience watching John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley? Surely by looking at an audience’s reaction we would get an impression of the quality of the film that they are viewing?

Shirin really is a Masterpiece – challenging, radical, visually brilliant. A Milestone of Cinema!

I can see how difficult this film would be difficult to many people but to those open to the film it will be moving, thought provoking and satisfying.

I noticed 2 professional Iranian actresses/directors in the film – Niki Karimi and Fatemeh Motamed-Aria (and of course Juliette Binoche).

Several years ago I bought the DVD of Chacun Son Cinema (2007) and I remember watching over and over the Kiarostami short feature feature “Where Is My Romeo”. I thought it was by far the best offering in the collection – it moves me deeply, touches on our artistic inheritance (Romeo and Juliet) and validates the power I want cinema to have – namely to be able to move the spectator and affect a positive change. It was made using the same footage that was shot for Shirin. 

Really I cannot praise this film enough!

(Interesting how I struggled to get through Peter Jackson’s Return Of The King Extended Edition at about the same time as watching this film and yet Shirin held my attention throughout)

Here is a very interesting piece that Jonathan Rosenbaum was kind enough to bring to my attention:

A phone conversation between Chicago (Saeed-Vafa) and Rome (Kiarostami),
March 17, 2013:

MS:  When you talked about Shirin in one of your interviews, you said that it was a unique film that could have changed your career, if you had made it earlier. What did you mean by that?

AK: I wished I had made Shirin earlier to get a better emotional understanding of women. Shirin was like a silent, wordless interview with 117 women. You could tell that they were all thinking silently about their private relationships, and we could see their emotions in their faces. As Hafez says: “yek gesseh bish nist  game eshgh o in ajab  az har zaban ke mishenavam na mokarar ast.”  (“Love's sorrow is but one story, but this is the marvel, that from everyone that I hear, it is never the same.”).
This was an amazing realization that I hadn’t had earlier. As you know, women haven’t had pivotal roles in most of my films.

Cetified Copy (2010) 22/3/14 Criterion BluRay

The Criterion Bluray image is excellent!

As I have been watching all these Kiarostami films it is apparent to me that he is a very important artist.

The setting is a visual delight – a beautiful Tuscan village.

Juliette Binoche is simply extraordinary. It is one of the most captivating performances I have ever seen!

The film cannot be analysed with logic. These 2 characters play different roles as the film unfolds. It is a radical structure.

Kiarostami once again proves what an innovative and radical film-maker that he is.

William Shimell was so brave to perform in this film – he is an opera singer who has never acted before outside of opera! In the documentary “Let’s See Copie Conforme” it was a delight to hear how harmonious and inspiring the work was for all involved. Kiarostami is very complimentary to the team and the team felt in the presence of a master.

Juliette Binoche has a very special presence. I have only seen her before in “Blue” and I watched that in France at a time when my French was still too basic to really understand the film. Update 26/4/14 I have just watched Blue and Juliette's performance is simply extraordinary!

I suspect that rewatching Certified Copy will reveal layers and layers of riches to be discovered.

As I said in the introduction it feels to me that the main characters suddenly start to morph into archetypes – a loving couple, an estranged couple, affection, hostility, communication, lack of communication, hopeful, pessimistic,desire etc. I do not feel the need for any logic in the film – I am swept along by what the film reveals and I am entirely satisfied when the film ends.

I thought of the European art house films of France and Italy – La Notte/ Le Mepris/Beyond The Clouds/Voyage To Italy also Kieslowski Three Colours.

 Like Someone In Love (2012) 27/3/14 New Wave Films UK BluRay

I am always uncomfortable with films that present characters involved in prostitution that do not make some statement about the pain that this profession causes the women involved (I have the same problem for example with Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie). Perhaps I am being naive and idealistic and maybe some women would respond by saying that they get a sense of satisfaction from this profession – however, the plight of so many women involved in this trade is one of terrible suffering and no person should have to undergo such ordeal in their life. For the sake of these unfortunate women I feel that people who portray prostitution on film have an obligation not to treat the subject lightly.

So I do not like the opening scene where the man is trying to coerce Akiko to work that night. I understand that Japan had (still has?) a culture of prostitution (geisha) that was imbedded in the society. Perhaps a section of Japanese women would disagree that it is a life of hardship and real suffering.

So in this film my own ideals prejudice me towards the film. I think this film has some cheap tricks – the lovable student who prostitutes herself for extra money, the cheap scene where they circle the station where her grandmother is waiting for her, the phone messages left by her grandmother as she is taken to a client, the spicing-up of the situation whereby the client is mistaken for her grandfather by her boyfriend, the ending which felt like a stunt to me. 

I appreciate that Kiarostami does not try to force us towards tears or other emotions however, I find the story to be quite contrived in order to shock us in a way that felt very un-Kiarostami -like. In this way I was somewhat unsatisfied by the film.

Whereas in his previous films the end credit music added to the resonance of what we had just watched – here the Ella Fitzgerald “Like Someone In Love”  seemed like a cheap trick.

I will be very eager to get my reaction from a second viewing.

The acting is generally very convincing – as I mentioned in the intro the windscreen car reflections become truly artistic in this film as modern Tokyo passes over the image of Akiko and others in the car.

ABC Africa (2001) 29/3/14 MK2 DVD

I left this feature until the end as it was an assignment requested by a UN department, not an original Kiarostami project.

The remit was to highlight the plight of approx 1.6 million children and teenagers who had lost 1 or 2 parents to AIDS and civil war in Uganda. The feature spends time with the people of Uganda more than discusses the issues the country faces.
Africa has a reputation that women work harder than the men – I do not know if this generalisation is true or if it applies to just certain countries in Africa. Certainly the women in this film are inspiring – their hard work shames us who live in privileged Western societies who remain ungrateful for what we have. In the “Apres La Guerre” documentary extra there is a woman who has been waiting for a local grant which will provide her with a simple hoe with which she will be able to cultivate the land and feed the 11 children that she has taken responsibility for after they have been orphaned. Really it shakes me to the core to think how imbalanced this world we live in is!

Abbas Kiarostami brings us into the lives of these people – in the feature 10 on Ten he discusses how using a hand held digital camera allowed him to get closer to the people.

Many shots display Kiarostami’s photographic eye – I noted the market scene with a drumming soundtrack and the passing woman who looks into the camera. 

African people have undergone so many difficulties – more than any other race they have been exploited for slavery. It still shocks and embarrasses me that Western people so shamefully degraded these people in the past – also Africans themselves saw the business opportunity and exploited their own people. In addition modern Africans have suffered (and continue to suffer!) terribly at the hands of dictators.

I could not understand the absence of men  - I understand that many would have died in the civil war however the other explanation of AIDS does not make sense to me – why were the women not dead in approximately equal numbers? How did the men contract the virus whereas it did not affect the women to the same extent?
I was appalled at the Catholic Church Doctrine that forbade Family Planning and hence contraception. These people are dying from AIDS! – if God exists he/she must be outraged at these ignorant teachings of the Catholic Church.

The feature feels less like an investigative documentary and more like a portrait of a people. I was disappointed however that Kiarostami did not give more explanation to highlight the crisis and to discuss what aid is needed. There is the privileged hotel that the crew are staying in that just left a slight distaste with me.

The time spent with the Austrian family seemed to me to get off the point – obviously it is joyful to see a Ugandan baby being offered a new life however I feel Kiarostami had a duty to look more intensely at what is needed to help the 1.6 million orphans. Yes it is good that he shows the balance that children will find happiness and will play games regardless of the circumstances. However they face an uncertain future and desperate poverty and this needed to be focused on.

I have mixed feelings about this documentary – yes I admire much of it and am glad that I learnt about this crisis. However I felt that I was more like a tourist admiring aspects of their culture and the beautiful countryside (the lush greens are breathtaking!) rather than someone who was learning about the specifics of this crisis and what is required to tackle it.

As someone who lives in a Western society I am somewhat ashamed of the culture that I live in – an unemployed person in my country who has decided never to work their whole life has a privileged life compared to any of these inspiring women in this feature. It is really hard to understand why so often in this world those who deserve the most often get the least and those who deserve least often have the most.
On same evening I watched some of the feature documentary “10 on Ten”. As I stated previously I did not want to watch too much backround on Kiarostami that might influence my assessment of his work. So I flicked through this skipping many parts. I was interested to see how deeply Kiarostami has thought about all the aspects of film making.  
I am more keen to rewatch these films than to read or watch documentaries on Kiarostami at this point.

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