I am no expert on Iranian cinema but I had heard of Abbas Kiarostami. This is his masterpiece and held up to be the greatest Iranian film of all time. The fact that it makes the top 200 films of all time is a remarkable achievement.
This is a unique film in that you are left to wonder if it's a film about a documentary or a documentary about a film. It blurs fiction with reality and becomes this fascinating melting pot about a very odd story. It winds down a strange path.
What starts out as a simple lie at a chance meeting grows into a huge fraud. A young film maker in Iran tricks a wealthy family into believing that they will star in his next film. they become suspicious, call the police and the film maker is arrested. A court case follows.
This is a true story. So now insert the film makers who attend the trial, interview the people involved, or do they? it all looks so amazingly real, you genuinely feel that you are in a real Iranian court room. But how can it be?
Filmed in 1.33 aspect ratio and often feeling like a home movie this is a remarkable film.
I am biased because I have an affinity towards films that portray human culture that I am not familiar with. This can be historic or geographic. After all, this is why we love to travel. I have never been to Iran, so this was an eye opener.
The structure of the film is like nothing I have seen. I can only wonder about how people felt seeing it 20 years ago. You are like a voyeur into what seems like a very real situation.
It's not my favorite film of all time, but it's a perfect example of why I love this journey and why I increasingly prefer classic movies to the weekly output from the studios. This film entertains and makes you think. It takes you to places you have never been and opens your eyes to things you've never seen.
Bottom line - I have now seen almost 600 of the top 1000 and this a complete one off