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Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami won the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for this contemplative film about a Muslim, Mr. Badi (Homayon Ershadi), who drives around the barren hills outside Tehran, flagging down passersby and offering good money for a simple job that he's hesitant to explain. He's planning his suicide and seeks someone to perform something of a symbolic eulogy. Most of his subjects refuse (personal morality aside, suicide is forbidden to Muslims), but he finds an elderly taxidermist (Abdolrahman Bagheri) who agrees only because he needs the money for an ill child. Yet the old man gently pleads with him to choose life, to embrace the joys of earthly existence, to remember the taste of cherries. Though initially greeted with critical acclaim,A Taste of Cherryreceived poor distribution in the U.S. The meandering, deliberately paced drama is composed of long conversations and long silences, and the camera is locked in the car for entire sequences, staring at the protagonists in still closeups with the dusty landscape rolling past the windows of the Land Rover in the background. Kiarostami's film is not for everyone, but if you can embrace the quiet power and grace of his deceptively simple style, the film becomes a remarkably rich celebration of human dignity and resilience. By the astonishing conclusion we can see past Badi's age-etched face to the soul peering out from behind his sad eyes.--Sean Axmaker
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CastHomayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi, Mir Hossein Noori
DirectorAbbas Kiarostami
Genre:  Foreign
Screen WriterAbbas Kiarostami
DVD Release Date:  June 8, 1999
Runtime:  95 minutes
Studio:  Criterion
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review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A middle-aged and middle class man drives through the streets of Tehran, searching for someone who might assist him. He turns away the eager men who crowd his window, in hopes of being hired for day labor. It's not clear what he wants, and not clear he knows exactly what he's looking for, and when he finally picks up a young man in a military uniform, the young man's growing apprehension mirrors our own. What kind of job demands such secrecy? Of course, if you've read the back of the dvd case, you …
Taste of Cherry - Criterion Collection
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