Dosto, yesterday I explained my foray into Iranian cinema. Today I’ll tell you about another Iranian film I saw, Ten (2002) directed by the illustirous Abbas Kiarostami.
Ten (Persian: ده) is a 2002 Iranian film directed by Abbas Kiarostami and starring Mania Akbari. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and ranks at number 447 on Empire magazine’s 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time. The film is divided into ten scenes, each of which depict a conversation between an unchanging female driver (played by Mania Akbari) and a variety of passengers as she drives around Tehran. Her passengers include her young son (played by Akbari’s real life son, Amin Maher), her sister, a bride, a prostitute, and a woman on her way to prayer. One of the major plots during the film is the driver’s divorce from her (barely seen) husband, and the conflict that this causes between mother and son. Much of the cast were untrained as actors, and the film has an improvisatory element. Elements of the characters were based on the actual life of the main actress and her son. The film was recorded on two digital cameras, one attached to each side of a moving car, showing the driver and passenger respectively. The film explores personal social problems arising in Iranian society, particularly the problems of women. (source)
You may be thinking Sita-ji, what does this have to do with Bollywood or the Indian film industry? Well just DEKH who he’s compared with here, some bahut famous Indian film makers!
Kiarostami, along with Jean Cocteau, Derek Jarman, and Gulzar, is part of a tradition of filmmakers whose artistic expressions are not restricted to one medium, but who show the ability to use other forms such as poetry, set designs, painting, or photography to relate their interpretation of the world we live in and to illustrate their understanding of our preoccupations and identities. (source)
Now if Kiarostami is mentioned in the same company as Satyajit Ray and Gulzar, I say that I’ll see more of his films!
I found a few more Bollywood similarities, firstly, the mention of orphans, so very Bollywood, na?
There is also a lot of sound metaphysical advice given out, also typically Bollywood. One of my favorite parts came when Mania Akbari’s character tried to comfort her friend who was just dumped with practical and spiritual advice. I also liked how her friend cut her hair all off in order to move on from her loss. Here are some of those images:
I’m almost done posting on Iranian filums and will show you one more tomorrow. As usual, I’d love to hear you’ve seen this film or any more of Kiarostami’s works. I know I’d like to see more of his films, though my dil is firmly in the land of Indian films now and forever.