Through the Olive Trees

Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1994, 103 min., Persian w/ English subtitles

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The two young stars of Where Is the Friend’s Home? have grown into adolescence in Through the Olive Trees, which tells the story of a director trying to make a film called Life and Nothing More…. Casting is complicated when a stonemason-turned-actor becomes smitten with the lead actress, who in turn refuses to look at him, disrupting an already comically dysfunctional set. Introducing questions of authenticity, class, and gender, Kiarostami’s unblinking interrogation of reality demonstrates his rich sense of whimsy and uncanny eye for the beautiful.