Part of Abbas Kiarostami: A Retrospective.
Kiarostami takes metanarrative gamesmanship to masterful new heights in the final installment of the Koker Trilogy. Unfolding “behind the scenes” of AND LIFE GOES ON, this film traces the complications that arise when the romantic misfortune of one of the actors—a young man who pines for the woman cast as his wife (though, in real life, she will have nothing to do with him)—creates turmoil on set and leaves the hapless director caught in the middle. An ineffably lovely, gentle human comedy steeped in the folkways of Iranian village life, THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES peels away layer after layer of artifice as it investigates the elusive, alchemical relationship between cinema and reality.
“...Combines a panoramic visual beauty with an acute sense of human tininess in the face of eruptive natural forces.” —Stephen Holden, New York Times “...Couldn’t be more understated or modest, yet in its indirect way it exerts a cumulative emotional tug. As funny as it is poignant….” —Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times “Rather than explore the fiction/reality/documentary conundrum abstractly, as many other films have done, OLIVE TREES uses its naive, non-pro actors to draw a straight line between the audience and the real-life inhabitants of the area. The power of the film lies in the masterful way this is accomplished.” —Deborah Young, Variety
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