Close Up

14 June 2017: Political Allegories


First Graders
Abbas Kiarostami
1985 | 79 min | Colour | Digital

"First Graders is best considered as a companion film to Homework. Both deal in the most explicit way with issues of primary school education, with deviations for the sake of meta-poetic or political commentary. This film serves less as a critique of the educational system, instead focusing on the role of the school headmaster, who resembles the judge in Close-Up. He is a patient, spiritual figure who restores order and with this portrait Kiarostami provides a subtle and somehow sympathetic image of a totalitarian leader, in which there is both ambiguity and irony."  – Ehsan Khoshbakht

Solution no.1
Abbas Kiarostami
1978 | 11 min | Colour | Digital

“After having his tyre repaired at the top of Alborz Mountain, a man tries to hitch a ride back to his car, but is ignored by all passersby. He therefore decides to roll the tyre to his destination. The idea of rejection leading to self-determination makes this another allegorical film, which along with Masoud Kimiai’s influential Journey of Stone sees resilience and movement intertwined, alluding to a revolution already in full force.” – Ehsan Khoshbakht

The Chorus
Abbas Kiarostami
1982 | 16 min | Colour | Digital

“In a small town in northern Iran, an old man who is aggravated by the noise of his surroundings switches off his hearing aid. But when his granddaughter returns home from school, he is unable to hear the doorbell. Possibly inspired by the post-revolutionary protests and uprisings, this is one of Kiarostami’s very few political allegories: the elderly, patriarchal figure does not hear the call of the young, unless they group together and deliver their message as a chorus.” – Ehsan Khoshbakht

Part of our Abbas Kiarostami season