Dispatched to an elderly professor, a sociology student who moonlights as a high-end escort finds her latest client less interested in sex than in cooking her soup, talking, and playing old Ella Fitzgerald records. Eventually, night gives way to day and a tense standoff with the student’s insanely jealous boyfriend; but nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Are these characters – who conjure in one another the spectres of regret and roads not taken – meeting by chance, or is it fate? Is this love, or merely something like it?
Many of the cast were untrained as actors, and the film has an improvisatory element. Elements of the characters were based on the actual life of the main actress and her son. The film was recorded on two digital cameras, one attached to each side of a moving car, showing the driver and passenger respectively.The film explores personal social problems arising in Iranian society, particularly the problems of women.
Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami won the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for this contemplative film about a Muslim, Mr. Badi (Homayon Ershadi), who drives around the barren hills outside Tehran, flagging down passers by and offering good money for a simple job that he’s hesitant to explain. He’s planning his suicide and seeks someone to perform something of a symbolic eulogy.
Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Five sequences : 1) A piece of driftwood on the seashore, carried about by the waves 2) People walking on the seashore. The oldest ones stop by, look at the sea, then go away 3) Blurry shapes on a winter beach. A herd of dogs. A love story 4) A group of loud ducks cross the image, in one direction then the other 5) A pond, at night. Frogs improvising a concert. A storm, then the sunrise.
This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event—the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves.