Films byTexts by Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016) was an Iranian filmmaker, screenwriter, poet and photographer born in Tehran. Kiarostami made nearly 50 films, making him a major figure in the history of cinema of the 20th century. After a brief period of combining studies in fine arts, to become a painter, with a job in traffic police, Kiarostami quickly turned to film through the world of TV commercials, making over 150 of them between 1960 and 1969. In 1969, Kiarostami was invited to head the film unit of the newly formed Center for the Intellectual Development of Child and Adolescent (Kanun). Under its auspices, he would make his first film, also Kanun’s first-ever production, Nan va Koutcheh [The Bread and Alley] (1970). Initially assigned to make educational films, Kiarostami was able to explore different cinematic pathways, though still aiming to develop a particular kind of pedagogical cinema, in effect laying the groundwork for his future style of filmmaking. In 1987, he made his first feature film, likewise his last film in black-and-white, Khane-ye doust kodjast? [Where Is the Friend’s House] introducing the so-called Koker Trilogy, which also includes Zendegi va digar hich [And Life Goes On] (1992) (also known as Life and Nothing More) and Zire darakhatan zeyton [Through the Olive Trees] (1994). Two of his subsequent films, Ta'm e guilass [Taste of Cherry] (1997) and Bad ma ra khahad bord [The Wind will Carry Us] (1999), won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Silver Lion (Grand Jury Prize) at the Venice International Film Festival respectively. Kiarostami’s last film 24 Frames (2017) was released posthumously.

The Bread and Alley
Abbas Kiarostami, 1970, 10’

A little boy makes his way home clutching a loaf of bread. In an alley, a stray dog blocks his path.


“The mother of all my films.”
Abbas Kiarostami


Where Is the Friend’s Home?
Abbas Kiarostami, 1987, 87’

Eight-year-old Ahmed has mistakenly taken his friend Mohammad’s notebook. He wants to return it, or else his friend will be expelled from school. The boy determinedly sets out to find Mohammad’s home in the neighbouring village.


Abbas Kiarostami, 1990, 98’

Based upon a peculiar news story Kiarostami stumbled upon, the film follows an unemployed youth from Teheran called Hossein Sabzian, as he convinces an entire family that he is the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Life and Nothing More...
Abbas Kiarostami, 1992, 95’

“The disarming centerpiece of a trilogy of films by Abbas Kiarostami, this work heads towards the same place that Roberto Rossellini set out for in the 1950s.

Through the Olive Trees
Abbas Kiarostami, 1994, 103’

Kiarostami takes meta-narrative gamesmanship to masterful new heights in the final installment of his celebrated Koker trilogy.

Taste of Cherry
Abbas Kiarostami, 1997, 95’

“Motion is the opening of the motionless, it is presence insofar as it is truly present, that is to say coming forward, introducing itself, offered, available, a site for waiting and thinking, presence itself becoming a passage toward or inside presence.

Abbas Kiarostami, 2002, 91’

“For decades, classical film theory pondered on the appropriate metaphor to explain the screen: a window or a frame? Was the screen a window on the world, therefore reality captured, or, a frame, reality constructed, a painting and its frame?

Abbas Kiarostami, 2008, 92’

The faces of a hundred and fourteen famous Iranian actresses and French star Juliette Binoche as they watch a filmed adaptation of a tragic twelfth-century romance by Nezami Ganjavi in a movie theater.