Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

Zir e Darakhtan e Zeyton

Iran, 1994, 102 min

Shown in 1995


Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami
Hossein Djafarian, Farhad Saba
Abbas Kiarostami
Hossein Rezai, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Tahereh Ladanian

Through the Olive Trees

An actor playing the director of a movie-within-a-movie explains that he is the only professional actor in the film that we see. By the time we get to the end of Through the Olive Trees, Abbas Kiarostami’s fascinating meditation on the overlap between cinema and reality, we have begun to wonder about the real existences behind all the portrayals. This sublimely sweet and comic film is the third in a series that circles around a young boy in Northern Iran (Where is the Friend’s Home?, SFIFF 1993) and a filmmaker (Kiarostami himself) returning to look for the boy actor after a devastating earthquake (And Life Goes On, SFIFF 1993). Through the Olive Trees has a fictional film crew returning to a Northern Iranian village razed by an earthquake to make a movie about the making of a movie. The subject swiftly begins to impact the inhabitants—especially young bricklayer Houssein’s courtship of Tahereh, a local girl. Drafted into playing opposite her in a love scene, Hossein renews a courtship that had been rejected before production started. The film is touching and funny about the vicissitudes of filmmaking, wise and funny about human nature, and profoundly sophisticated about cinema.