Abbas Kiarostami: Life as Art

August 2–December 21, 2019

Iran’s most influential director, Kiarostami made films that blended fiction and documentary, minimalism and spontaneity, poetic vision and humanist spirit. We present a near-complete retrospective of his work.

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  • Where Is the Friend's Home

  • Through the Olive Trees

  • The Wind Will Carry Us

  • Taste of Cherry

  • Certified Copy

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • The Traveler

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1974

    Digital Restoration

    • Friday, August 2 6:30 PM
    • Sunday, September 8 4:30 PM

    A young boy in a rural village schemes and dreams his way to a big-city soccer match in Kiarostami’s first feature, similar to The 400 Blows. With short Bread and Alley.

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  • Where Is the Friend’s Home?

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1987

    Digital Restoration
    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    • Saturday, August 10 6 PM
    • Friday, September 13 7 PM

    This beautiful picture of the life of a child in a northern Iranian village is the first film in Kiarostami’s beloved Koker trilogy.

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  • A Wedding Suit

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1976

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, September 15 3:30 PM
    Introduction and Lecture by Godfrey Cheshire

    Kiarostami constructs an O. Henry–like fable set in the world of working youths in the shops and streets of Tehran. With Experience, a beautiful, nearly wordless tale about an adolescent boy juggling a job, a first crush, and the urge to sample adulthood’s temptations.

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  • Through the Olive Trees

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1994

    Digital Restoration

    Through the Olive Trees also screens without lecture on Saturday, August 24 and Friday, September 27.

    • Tuesday, September 17 7 PM
    Introduction and Lecture by Godfrey Cheshire

    In Kiarostami’s fittingly self-reflective end to the Koker trilogy, a lovelorn youth gets another chance at romance when a visiting film crew casts him and his disinterested paramour as husband and wife.

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  • And Life Goes On . . .

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1992

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, August 17 6 PM
    • Friday, September 20 7 PM

    Kiarostami seeks to find out the fate of the earthquake-devastated area of Koker and Poshteh from Where Is the Friend’s Home? and finds willing actors among the survivors.

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  • Case #1, Case #2

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1979

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, September 22 4 PM
    Lecture by Abbas Milani

    A seemingly simple classroom struggle between teacher and students becomes an absorbing lesson in solidarity, ideology, and resistance in Kiarostami’s gripping documentary, filmed during the last days of the Shah and finished during the earliest days of the Islamic Revolution.

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  • Through the Olive Trees

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1994

    Digital Restoration

    Through the Olive Trees is also presented on Tuesday, September 17 with an introduction and post-screening lecture by author Godfrey Cheshire.

    • Saturday, August 24 6 PM
    • Friday, September 27 7 PM

    In Kiarostami’s fittingly self-reflective end to the Koker trilogy, a lovelorn youth gets another chance at romance when a visiting film crew casts him and his disinterested paramour as husband and wife.

    View Details
  • Homework

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1989

    Digital Restoration

    • Friday, October 11 8 PM

    In a series of interviews with grade-school boys on the topic of homework, much is revealed on the topic of life. With shorts Breaktime and Orderly or Disorderly.

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  • First Graders

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1984

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, October 13 4:30 PM

    Play meets punishment in Kiarostami’s documentary on first-graders reporting for their first day of school. With shorts Two Solutions for One Problem and Solution.

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  • 76 Minutes and 16 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami

    Seifollah Samadian
    Iran, 2016

    Screenings presented in Theater 2

    • Friday, October 18 6:30 PM
    • Sunday, October 20 3 PM
    • Saturday, November 2 3 PM
    • Friday, November 15 6:30 PM

    Made by a close friend and collaborator, this intimate and subtly revealing portrait follows Kiarostami in Iran and abroad, at work as a photographer, filmmaker, installation artist, and poet.

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  • Close-Up

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1990
    • Sunday, August 18 7 PM
    • Saturday, October 19 8 PM

    An unemployed film fanatic who impersonated director Mohsen Makhmalbaf is the subject of Kiarostami’s mind-bending docu-fictional masterpiece, which reenacts the entire affair with the impersonator and Makhmalbaf himself.

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  • Abbas Kiarostami: Five Short Films


    Digital Restorations
    Recommended for ages 10 & up

    • Saturday, October 26 3 PM

    Anyone curious about what episodes of Sesame Street would look like if they were directed by one of the world’s greatest filmmakers should catch this collection of shorts by Kiarostami, made for an Iranian children’s cultural institute.

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  • Taste of Cherry

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1997

    Digital Restoration

    • Friday, November 1 7 PM

    The Cannes prizewinning mystery of a man who searches for someone to help him commit suicide. Naturally, everyone he meets has an opinion on the subject. “A masterpiece” (The Nation).

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  • The Wind Will Carry Us

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1999

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, August 4 7 PM
    • Sunday, November 3 7 PM

    A television crew arrives at a remote Kurdish village to await a mourning ritual. While they wait for death, life happens. “A stunningly lyrical and eloquent exploration of both rural village life and the nature of artistic responsibility” (New York Times).

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  • Ten

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, France, 2002

    Film to Table dinner follows

    • Saturday, November 9 5:30 PM

    In the front seat of her car, a young urban divorcee grapples with her anxieties in this “courageous, instinctive film . . . sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always engrossing” (Variety).

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  • 10 on Ten

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, France, 2004
    • Saturday, November 16 5:30 PM

    From the master himself, thoughts on filmmaking as a journey, delivered from—where else?—the front seat of his car. “An incisive, sometimes funny, and often provocative contemplation of the art of cinema” (Museum of Modern Art, New York).

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  • ABC Africa

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, France, 2001
    • Friday, November 22 4 PM

    For his first film shot outside Iran, Kiarostami went to Uganda to document the reality of children orphaned by AIDS. What he found was a network of widows creating a culture of support, in a place devastated by death but still full of life.

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  • Fellow Citizen

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1983

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, November 24 2 PM

    Kiarostami turns footage of a traffic cop beleaguered by demanding drivers into a study of verbal invention, miniature rebellion, and the fine line between order and disorder. With short Tribute to Teachers.

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  • Five Dedicated to Ozu

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, France, Japan, 2003

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, December 1 4:30 PM
    Introduction by Donna Honarpisheh

    Dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu, Kiarostami’s set of five serene seafront studies is “remarkably captivating, like a perfectly crafted object of contemplation” (Village Voice). With short Roads of Kiarostami.

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  • Víctor Erice–Abbas Kiarostami: Correspondences

    Víctor Erice, Abbas Kiarostami
    Spain, Iran, 2005–7
    • Saturday, December 7 6 PM

    Created for a museum exhibition that paired the works of Kiarostami and Víctor Erice, Correspondences is composed of ten “filmed letters” between the two master filmmakers.

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  • Shirin

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 2008

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, December 8 4:30 PM
    Introduction by Donna Honarpisheh

    A film about watching and most of all experiencing film, Shirin features close-ups of 112 Iranian actresses (and Juliette Binoche) as they view—or imagine—a movie. “An illusionist tour de force” (Jonathan Rosenbaum).

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  • Certified Copy

    Abbas Kiarostami
    France, Italy, Belgium, Iran, 2010
    • Saturday, December 14 6 PM

    Juliette Binoche and William Shimell star in Kiarostami’s playful unspooling of the romance genre, set in a radiant Tuscany where nothing is quite as it seems. Binoche won Best Actress at Cannes for her role in this “brilliant, endlessly fascinating work” (New Yorker).

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  • Like Someone in Love

    Abbas Kiarostami
    France, Japan, 2012
    • Thursday, December 19 7 PM

    A young escort, her older client, and her jealous lover enact their various roles depending on who’s in front of them in Kiarostami’s last narrative feature, made in Japan. “An enthralling journey” (New York Magazine).

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  • 24 Frames

    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, France, 2017
    • Saturday, December 21 4 PM

    Kiarostami’s final work strips cinema down to its essence—a single frame—creating a hypnotic meditation on image making and the act of seeing that pays tribute to both cinema and the great director’s other passion, photography.

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Past Films

  • Through the Olive Trees

    • Saturday, August 24 6 PM
    • Friday, September 27 7 PM
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1994

    Digital Restoration

    Through the Olive Trees is also presented on Tuesday, September 17 with an introduction and post-screening lecture by author Godfrey Cheshire.

    In Kiarostami’s fittingly self-reflective end to the Koker trilogy, a lovelorn youth gets another chance at romance when a visiting film crew casts him and his disinterested paramour as husband and wife.

  • Close-Up

    • Sunday, August 18 7 PM
    • Saturday, October 19 8 PM
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1990

    An unemployed film fanatic who impersonated director Mohsen Makhmalbaf is the subject of Kiarostami’s mind-bending docu-fictional masterpiece, which reenacts the entire affair with the impersonator and Makhmalbaf himself.

  • And Life Goes On . . .

    • Saturday, August 17 6 PM
    • Friday, September 20 7 PM
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1992

    Digital Restoration

    Kiarostami seeks to find out the fate of the earthquake-devastated area of Koker and Poshteh from Where Is the Friend’s Home? and finds willing actors among the survivors.

  • Where Is the Friend’s Home?

    • Saturday, August 10 6 PM
    • Friday, September 13 7 PM
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1987

    Digital Restoration
    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    This beautiful picture of the life of a child in a northern Iranian village is the first film in Kiarostami’s beloved Koker trilogy.

  • The Wind Will Carry Us

    • Sunday, August 4 7 PM
    • Sunday, November 3 7 PM
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1999

    Digital Restoration

    A television crew arrives at a remote Kurdish village to await a mourning ritual. While they wait for death, life happens. “A stunningly lyrical and eloquent exploration of both rural village life and the nature of artistic responsibility” (New York Times).

  • The Traveler

    • Friday, August 2 6:30 PM
    • Sunday, September 8 4:30 PM
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Iran, 1974

    Digital Restoration

    A young boy in a rural village schemes and dreams his way to a big-city soccer match in Kiarostami’s first feature, similar to The 400 Blows. With short Bread and Alley.