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Overall Rating
3.62

Awesome: 7.69%
Worth A Look46.15%
Average46.15%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 1 rating


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Wind Will Carry Us, The
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by Greg Muskewitz

"It's unmistakably Kiarostami."
4 stars

We here in the United States, or at least in San Diego are finally getting caught up on the films of the highly championed Abbas Kiarostami. Earlier this year we had a retrospective for him, which featured “A Taste of Cherry” –the one I had already seen –“Close-Up,” a fictional redramatization of intriguing real events; “Where Is the Friend’s House?” (neé “Where Is the Friend’s Home?”), a study and journey of a dogmatic and determined child; and “And Life Goes On,” the one I missed, but a follow-up to the latter film. “The Wind Will Carry Us” is not Kiarostami’s latest, but its arrival is surely closer on time than his last few. As it is, only one film of his separates us from being current.

Synopsi never quite cut it with Kiarostami’s films. His films aren’t inasmuch about a concept or specific thematic device insofar as they are a glimpse of a life. If you’ve ever been interested in watching people, and how they function, that’s where “The Wind Will Carry Us” (and other Kiarostamis) becomes interesting. He doesn’t bother to take the boorish, uneventful or slow moments out; instead he leaves them intact as a testament of it being real. Something you can get meaning from if you invest yourself in it.

In “The Wind Will Carry Us,” an “engineer” (Behzad Dourani) and his crew come to the village of Siah Dareh, in Kurdistan. We don’t know what they are there for, but Dourani tells the local boy who assists them, Farzad, to tell the townspeople they are there to search for treasure. Obviously this isn’t the truth, but more subtly (and more helpfully from the press kit) it’s actually the death of a local and the ritualistic funeral they await to document.

Kiarostami, a self-described “minimalist” comes across as more of a documenter. He doesn’t let us see something unless it is direly important. He doesn’t spell out anything unless it is of utmost importance. Kiarostami’s films are an interesting document of Iranian cinema. The question that piques my interest is if the people of Iran are as excited by, and flock to see a Kiarostami, like Americans do to a James Cameron, or Asians do to a John Woo? Is this the popular type of film there?

I think that this is the closest Kiarostami has come to a comedy, mostly through the routines of Dourani, and then also through the pragmatic relationship of the engineer and Farzad. The routine, which occurs anytime Dourani’s cell phone rings, constantly has him running to higher ground through the maze of compact houses, and then driving to an open field with a giant loner tree (very reminiscent of “A Taste of Cherry”), yelling “Hold on!” the entire way. It’s hard for me to be excited by a Kiarostami film, but I look forward to them. “The Wind Will Carry Us” is probably the least smoothed out into a conducive story. It’s a lot harder, at least for me, to grasp any words to report about it. Nothing the story offers us particularly of compelling fare. But then why am I recommending it? I’m recommending it as an austere, fictionalized documentary of a man’s anomie as the events of his life are fatefully, or existentially (your choice), dealt out. Every now and then, he thinks he has it, but is then only jolted into realizing that that’s not what he was after. Patience will get you far with a Kiarostami film. His narrative structure is weak, but his cryptic ability to bring beauty and life to the screen is a mature skill.

“The Wind Will Carry Us” is also the most beautifully, slickly, and brightly shot of Kiarostami’s work, by director of photography, Mahmoud Kalari.

Postscript: I have realized that when dealing with a Kiarostami film, the immediate action is not to discuss it. There’s no need; you have already absorbed his message. A look at the person you saw it with, and a nod is suffice.

Final Verdict: B.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4646&reviewer=172
originally posted: 11/28/00 20:46:58
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User Comments

6/14/13 PAUL SHORTT INTELLIGENT, DAZZLING SPECTACLE 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Jul-2000

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Oct-2000




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