Innocence meets regulation and play meets punishment in this documentary on unwary first graders reporting for their first day of school. Filming in one of Tehran’s poorest school districts, Kiarostami splits the action between two polarized battlegrounds: the playground and the principal’s office. In one, ways of socializing, communicating, and working in groups are taught or intuited; in the other, ways of behaving and obeying are quickly enforced. Kiarostami’s unerring connection with his tiny, unruly protagonists makes for essential, at times wrenching viewing, as we see little individuals molded into more easily controlled shapes.
Two Solutions for One Problem
(Do rah-e hal baray-e yek massaleh)
Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1975
A droll allegory about the importance of honest reconciliation.
(Rah-e hal-e yek)
Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1978
In Kiarostami’s “road movie,” a man with a broken-down car is stranded on a desert road.