Through the Olive Trees

Zir-e derakhtan-e zeytun

Abbas KiarostamiIran102 minutes1994PGColourFarsi

May 18
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A young bricklayer uses his casting in a film as an opportunity to woo the young woman who has already turned down his proposal of marriage, in Abbas Kiarostami's bittersweet, self-reflexive mixture of farce and formalism.

In the final installment of Abbas Kiarostami's Koker Trilogy, a film crew arrives in an isolated village in northern Iran, which was devastated by the earthquake of 1990, to shoot Kiarostami's earlier film And Life Goes On. Hossein, a young bricklayer, is offered a small role in the film, and is delighted to find that the young woman he has been courting, Farkhonde, will be playing the part of his wife. Having been rejected by Farkhonde's family as a suitor because he is homeless and illiterate, Hossein seizes the chance to persist in his wooing of the uninterested young woman. Kiarostami exploits the complications that arise from the tension between the actors' real-life selves and their fictional ones with a bittersweet mixture of farce and formalism. "As with the ending of And Life Goes On, the film's last shot is a stunning tour de force, merging landscape, title, and plot in one braided whole" (Phillip Lopate, Film Comment).

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