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The Wind Will Carry Us (1999)

Cast: Behzad Dourani, The Inhabitants of the Siah Dareh village
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: New Yorker Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Middle East, Iran
Running Time: 118 min.
Languages: Persian
Subtitles: English
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Internationally renowned filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami directors this gorgeous, enigmatic meditation on everyday life. Typical of his work, the film stretches the boundaries of narrative and pacing, challenging the audience to rethink its relation to the film. A quartet of city-dwellers visits a remote village in the northern Kurdistani region of Iran looking for something. The film focuses on one of the four, who is simply called "Engineer" by the villagers. His motives for coming to the village remain opaque throughout the film; although he tells a local boy that he is looking for treasure, he seems morbidly interested in the health of an ailing old woman in the village. In a manner reminiscent of the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Kiarostami distances the audience from the characters, both by restricting any interior view of them and by keeping the camera at a distance from the actors; there are only a handful of close-ups in this film. Without characters to understand and sympathize with, the director makes the audience keenly aware of its role as spectators. Instead of the conventional signposts of character and narrative, Kiarostami, through the use of slow pacing and a static camera, allows the audience to witness everyday incidents (procuring goats' milk and tea, picking strawberries, watching a tortoise shuffle by) in a manner that feels at once highly stylized and oddly documentary-like. Embedded in this beautiful yet challenging film is a humanist philosophy that rejoices in life's small wonders. This film won the Golden Lion at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival and was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Taste of Cherry
Earlier Kiarostami film is extremely slow-moving but beautiful and ultimately rewarding for those with long attention spans

Majid Majidi's masterfully uses a romantic story to subtly hide powerful commentary on the plight of refugees in Iran

GreenCine Member Reviews

After you rack you brains... by EFox August 22, 2005 - 7:40 PM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
This film is like a Zen koan. In one branch of Zen Buddhism the student is given a verbal puzzle that seems to have no answer and will rack his/her brains for logical solutions. It's only upon exhausting all the conventional pathways of intellect that the Koan resolves itself into some more profound and less dichotomous way of seeing the world. Maybe I shouldn't have told you this, because it is the tension of waiting for answers, for clues, for "getting it" that (I think)finally helps you wind up in that other, richer place. You're waiting to learn exactly what the hell is going on, how everybody is related, what the plot is for heaven's sakes---and then, maybe, you don't care anymore, and you start to notice the beauty, and mystery, of the world as it is being shown/imagined in this film.

That Kiarostami's a sly wizard all right. He's a trickster; watch out for him. He can get under your skin. You'll have to resist him at first, but don't try to resist him forever. It's too tiring and not worth it. You'll only disappoint the Zen master.

Overly Challenging To the Viewer by JMVerville December 6, 2004 - 8:56 PM PST
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This film really broke a lot of molds, and one can certainly find this film to really challenge you as you watch it, to kind of find your own place as a viewer, and know how to watch the film. Usually one does not have to think so much when watching a movie, and usually by the end of it the viewer feels that they have some semblance of what happened, and what was going on, but this film breaks the mold and really is the exception to the rule.

At times I did not like the film because I was left in the dark, but as I grew to accept it I found it to be very stimulating in many ways. I merely resigned myself to the happy ignorance of looking at the beautifully shot scenery of Iran, and following the Engineer through his routine that became quite repetitive.

I feel as if the symbolism was running too deep for myself, and that Abbas Kiarostami was reaching too deep into the story and expecting the viewer to make too many inferrences and to take away more from the film than was obviously presented. This is one of those films that perhaps was too artsy for me to like.

However, it was well-acted, well-shot, and well-produced. At times, dragging on, and overly challenging, and too repetitive. Not something that I would encourage somebody to watch, but if you have an interest in this sort of film or Iranian film in general, I would not discourage you, either. It was a decent look into a slice-of-life of Iran. I do say it was very new, poetic, and fresh, but a little too much so. It was overly challenging. Abbas Kiarostami tries to be a poet, but I do not think I (or many others) were able to read this poem he recorded.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.46)
74 Votes
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