Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Wind Will Carry Us

Bad ma ra khahad bord; drama, Iran, 1999; D: Abbas Kiarostami, S: Behzad Dourani, Noghre Asadi, Farzad Sohrabi, Roushan Karam Elmi

A car is traveling through the landscape. The driver stops and asks a woman for directions, specifically how to get to a isolated Kurdish village. The car finally reaches the destination. Among the passengers in the car is engineer Behzad who at first in a joke tells that he is there to dig artifacts, but later admits that he is only there to film a sick 100 year old woman. Behzad makes friends with local women and a boy, but mostly he feels bored. He then spots a man who fell in the well and calls a doctor to help him. Early in the morning, he leaves the village.

Meditative drama "The Wind Will Carry Us" has an ambitious tone inspired loosely by Italian Neorealism, but it doesn't offer too much intellectual involvement or stimulation. The movie doesn't have a plot. Life is the plot. And everything in it is included in the movie; beauty, boredom, meaningless details, philosophy, characters, emptiness, wisdom, the unknown. The director Abbas Kiarostami leads an absolutely minimalistic tone, a one so thin it may look like a mix of anecdotes, and he has gentle and simple characters, but he doesn't have anything revolutionary or brilliant to offer, making it seem that he lacks that special touch as an author. Among the amusing scenes is the opening shot in which passengers in a car are traveling aimlessly through the landscape, obviously being lost because their only clue is a tree by the road - but there are many trees by the road. In another funny scene, the protagonist Behzad gets a call on his cell phone, but has to leave the village with his car and drive all the way up to a hill for a better signal - a scene that gets repeated a lot of times through the film, making it in the end an old joke. Near the end even a doctor shows up who hints that he is afraid of death, making the whole seem even a little bit courageous. Kiarostami's intentions and messages are good, but he could have packed them in a better developed structure.


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