The first Iranian film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes is one of great humanity and complexity, which boasts one of cinema’s most daring and memorable endings.
Mr Badii is driving around construction sites on the dusty outskirts of Tehran. He’s looking for someone to dispose of his body after he takes his own life, and attempts to enlist the help of a young soldier, a seminarian and a taxidermist. Masterfully shot in a rich, earthy palette by Homayoun Payvar, Taste of Cherry
– like his previous work on And Life Goes On
– makes exceptional use of framing to give a sense of deep intimacy and vast expanses. Its minimalism, long shots and lack of a score allows its deeply human themes to take prominence.
For Kiarostami, the film and mere exploration of its subject were an expression of hope. As he explained to Godfrey Cheshire, “When you have this trump card up your sleeve, you can live better. Just like me right now driving; whenever I feel sleepy, I can pull to the side of the road and rest. But if I didn’t have this opportunity, I wouldn’t be able to continue driving. Knowing that I can stop the car, however, I can keep driving to Tehran.”