Media Arts Program

Saturday, January 13, 2001


Presented at:

THE WIND WILL CARRY US (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1999, 118 min, color, 16mm, In Farsi w/English subtitles) The latest film by Abbas Kiarostami, widely considered one of the greatest living filmmakers, is evocative and visually stunning. The Wind Will Carry Us revolves around the lives of four strangers who arrive from Tehran for a short stay at Siah Dareh, a village in Iranian Kurdistan. The strangers head for the old cemetery, making the villagers think they are looking for treasure. Their real motive is to await the death of a 100-year-old woman, who remains offscreen; their reasons aren't stated, though they have something to do with the media, probably a plan to tape or film the funeral ceremony. At once stretching the boundaries of cinematic convention and challenging audience preconceptions about narrative and pacing, this is a counter-cinema with a warm, humanist heart. Kiarostami relishes in placing his characters in surroundings alien to them; their experience of the exotic becomes an intimate canvas of universal truths. Kiarostami's work continues to impress domestically and internationally. His previous film, Taste of Cherry, the Palme d'Or winner at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, was an elegiac portrait of a man torn between life and death. The Wind Will Carry Us is the next step in his formidable oeuvre, evoking the same sense of character and place that infuses much of his work, while delving into politically sensitive territory in understated, allegorical fashion. Evocative and direct, constructed with his trademark, soulful serenity and refreshingly minimalist approach, The Wind Will Carry Us is another essential film from a master filmmaker.