Festival de Cannes 70: Ta’m-e gilas, 1997

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

Taste of Cherry (1997)

Abbas Kiarostami is a name you ought to know. Crafting some truly mesmerizing, intelligent, authentic depictions of social Iran, the film-maker knows his culture like the back of his hand. In 1997, Ta’m-e gilas (Taste of Cherry) shared the Palme d’Or win with Shohei Imamura’s The Eel. It was quite a victory, given what the film has to say about a composed, planned suicide, and the intellectual, philosophical conversations that Mr Badii (brilliantly subtle Homayoun Ershadi) the protagonist has as he drives around rural Tehran in search of someone to assist him in his post-ritual wishes. The characters he encounters are finely tuned, and offer Mr Badii varying perspectives of right and wrong, but also the deep-seated morality and consequences of his actions. Seemingly going ahead with his plan during a thunderstorm we are given the seconds to ponder on the outcome – Kiarostami turns the narrative on its head in the final moments, blending the bemusing with the genius.

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