5 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 115 minutes
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I loved this movie. And I yawned through Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s previous works Taste Of Cherry and Close-Up. I found both those movies somewhat interesting from an intellectual point of view, but what was there on the screen to engage us, the audience? Kiarostami has been attempting to establish what he calls “unfinished cinema” for years. He has maintained that by leaving out pieces of the story, by not telling everything through dialogue and explicit cinematography, he is able to more fully engage the audience in his films. I never expected him to fully deliver on his premise. His latest work, The Wind Will Carry Us, dispenses of all my misgivings. I think that Kiarostami took the (few) criticisms of his last film, Taste of Cherry, to heart and focused his energies on telling as much as he could through the lens and through his deceptively simple dialogue. Essentially, the story concerns four men who travel from Tehran to the village of Siah Dareh where they wait and wait for a specific event: the death of an ill woman. They deceive the inhabitants of the village into thinking they are treasure hunters, and in a sense they are. We only get to know Behzad, the leader of the group, who is engaged in a battle with his conscience. He has a specific job to do in this village and cares not for the objections of the townsfolk nor their traditions. He takes pictures of a woman who asks him specifically not to do so, he drives his truck over the village cemetery, which he uses as high ground for better cell phone reception, and lies to a little boy he befriends. He is forever praising the villagers for their fertility, “You have ten children? Well done! You have five brothers? Bravo!”, yet he has no respect for life or death. The film even manages to be somewhat fast-paced (by Kiarostami standards) with an element of suspense thrown in during the final act. To give away any more of the events would be to place my own interpretation of events on you, the reader.

Posted on April 11, 2000 in Reviews by

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