Where Is the Friend’s Home?
(Khaneh-je doost kojast?)
(Where Is the Friend’s House?)
Marilyn Fabe is the author of Closely Watched Films and was the longtime teacher of the popular BAMPFA lecture/screening series Film 50: History of Cinema.
Babak Ahmadpour, Ahmad Ahmadpour, Khodabakhsh Defaie, Iran Otari,
Inspired by a poem by Iranian philosopher Sohrab Sepehri, Where Is the Friend’s Home? is a beautiful picture of the life of a child in a northern Iranian village—a child for whom an afternoon becomes an odyssey into and beyond the mysteries of adult behavior. Young Ahmad feels he must return an all-important notebook to his friend, Mohammad, who will be expelled from school if he shows up one more time without his homework. Defying his parents, Ahmad sets out to find his friend’s home in the neighboring village. Continually derailed and misguided by conflicting directions from adults, he searches through winding alleys with identical-seeming houses, and covers the barren territory between the two villages over and over with Sisyphean inevitability and Keaton-like stoicism. In his caring and his wisdom, Ahmad casually defines what humanity might be if the wonder remained.