AND LIFE GOES ON
ZENDEGI VA DIGAR HICH
1992, Janus Films, 95 min, Iran, Dir: Abbas Kiarostami

In the aftermath of a 1990 earthquake that left 30,000 dead, Kiarostami returned to the village of Koker, where his camera surveys not only the devastation but the teeming life that continues in its wake. Blending fiction and reality into a playful, poignant road movie, AND LIFE GOES ON follows a film director (played by an actor standing in for Kiarostami) who, along with his son, makes the difficult trek to the region in hopes of finding out if the young star of his movie WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE? is among the survivors. There he discovers a resilient community pressing on in the face of tragedy as he’s helped along on his journey by the generosity of those he meets. Finding beauty in the bleakest of circumstances, Kiarostami crafts a quietly majestic ode to the best of the human spirit.


WHERE IS THE FRIEND'S HOUSE?
KHANE-YE DOUST KODJAST?
1987, Janus Films, 83 min, Iran, Dir: Abbas Kiarostami

The first film in Abbas Kiarostami’s sublime, interlacing trilogy of films set in the northern Iranian village of Koker takes a premise of fable-like simplicity - a boy searches for the home of his classmate whose school notebook he has accidentally taken - and transforms it into a miraculous, child’s-eye adventure of the everyday. As our young hero zigzags determinedly across two towns aided (and sometimes misdirected) by those he encounters, his quest becomes both a revealing portrait of Iranian society in all its richness and complexity and a touching parable about the meaning of personal responsibility. Shot through with all the wonder, beauty, tension and mystery one day can contain, WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE? established Kiarostami’s reputation as one of cinema’s most sensitive and profound humanists.


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