Kiarostami first rose to international prominence with a modernist, humane trilogy of films set in and around the Iranian village of Koker, before and after a devastating earthquake there. Reflecting the director’s multilayered engagement with cinema—and the audience—the trilogy begins with this lyrical tale of a schoolboy’s journey to return a notebook belonging to his best friend. Kiarostami frequently uses children as protagonists, and his treatment of them is always enlightening: through them, he embraces the human condition in general. Though these kids’ worlds are almost mystically charged with significance, they are also couched in a wry tone of comic realism. The simple, lyrical tale of Where is the Friend’s Home? is drawn from a poem by poet-philosopher Sohrab Sepehri, whose subject encounters places and moments of great beauty and wonder.

Screening with:
Two Solutions for One Problem/Dorah-e hai baraye yek massaleh
Abbas Kiarostami | 1975 | Iran | 35mm | 4m

Two young boys are classmates; when Nader returns his friend’s notebook, the cover of which he has accidentally torn, the other is faced with two possibilities. Either he can quickly take revenge, or the two can both look for a solution involving glue and a little ingenuity.