Film - Feature | September 20 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
In the aftermath of the 1990 earthquake in northern Iran that killed some fifty thousand people, Kiarostami returned to the setting of Where Is the Friends Home? seeking to find out the fate of his nonprofessional child stars. In the devastated landscape, expecting to find death, Kiarostami found life, and proceeded to transform it into cinema. A filmmaker and his son go along the destroyed road, meeting people who have lost relatives and helping those they can; in a makeshift tent city, an aerial is raised to catch the World Cup match. Kiarostami blocked out every apparently unplanned shot, scripted the seemingly improvised dialogue; where reality had imposed its devastating logic, he imposed his own creativity, and, amazingly, people were willing to go along with his game. It took a kind of cynical courage to be that positive, but Kiarostami took his cues from his actors commitment to their fate: reconstructing their lives.