Through the Olive Trees
(Zir-e derakhtān zeytoun)
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Script: Abbas Kiarostami
Cinematographer: Hossein Djafarian, Farhad Saba
Editing: Abbas Kiarostami
Cast: Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Farhad Kheradmand, Zarifeh Shiva, Hossein Rezai
Production: Abbas Kiarostami
Distribution: MK 2
35 mm, Color, 103 min, OV Persian with French Subtitles
Hossein Rezai plays a local stonemason-turned-actor. Outside the set of a film in which he is acting, he makes a marriage proposal to his leading lady, a student named Tahereh, who was orphaned by an earthquake. Because he is poor and illiterate, the girl's family finds his offer insulting; the girl avoids him as a result. She continues evading him even when they are filming, as she seems to have trouble grasping the difference between her role in the film and her real-life self. The fictional couple takes part in what would be the filming of Life, and Nothing More....
The situation complicates further as Hossein still pursues the affections of the young actress while the film goes on. The director learns about this and tries to advise Hossein about what to do. He then illustrates their story and where the conflict began. The girl manages to finish the scene while Hossein woos her and then departs by walking as Hossein runs to follow her.
Akira Kurosawa is a big fan of Kiarostami movies. He said one has to see his movies to believe, since it is too difficult to talk about: « When Satyajit Ray passed on, I was very depressed. But after seeing Kiarostami’s films, I thanked God for giving us just the right person to take his place ».
« I wonder why countries with a long cinematographic History seem nowadays not as good as countries with a younger history, whoe movies ar eincredible. That is a question I ask myself when I see Kiarostami's movies ».
Through the Olive Trees questions, with very simple cinematographic tools, the truth in cinema, blending past and present, fiction and documentary, reality and fake facts.