The man, Mr. Badii (Homayon Ershadi), traverses the Iranian countryside, winding up and down the rocky mountain passes in his dust-covered Range Rover. He is searching for someone to perform a simple task—to come to a specified location the following morning and throw 12 spades of dirt on top of a shallow grave that he himself will occupy. It is a job, in a country where religion and politics are so delicately interwoven, for which there are few eager applicants. From this deceptively simple scenario, Kiarostami creates a remarkable paean to the small miracles of everyday life and the elusive nature of happiness–a patient, poetic and profoundly beautiful work that confirmed its director as one of the masters of modern world cinema. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, it marked Kiarostami’s third appearance in NYFF.
“A sublime spiritual parable about life's possibilities.” —NYFF35 program note
“When Satyajit Ray passed on, I was very depressed. But after seeing Kiarostami’s films, I thanked God for giving us just the right person to take his place.” —Akira Kurosawa
“Mr. Kiarostami, like no other filmmaker, has a vision of human scale that is simultaneously epic and precisely minuscule…The camera continually draws back for long shots of soldiers marching in formation over the harsh landscape and of workers moving enormous piles of red dirt and rock with heavy equipment. Dogs bark in the distance, the wind blows, flocks of crows circle and descend and rise. You feel the pulse and rhythms of earthly life on a grand scale.” —Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Image courtesy of ABBAS KIAROSTAMI / THE KOBAL COLLECTION