Taste Of Cherry review

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The latest work by the acclaimed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, Taste Of Cherry won the coveted Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes. The plot is notable for its simplicity: Mr Badii (Ershadi) drives around the barren hills outside Tehran looking for somebody to help him commit suicide. A Kurdish soldier and an Afghan seminarian both refuse, while an elderly museum worker (Bagheri) agrees to be his accomplice, but wants to know Badii's reasons for despair and how he can turn his back on the joys of existence and the wonders of Nature.

Taste Of Cherry is a supposed affirmation of the simple things that make life worth living, providing further proof of Kiarostami's humanity and affection for ordinary people. As noble as his ideals are, watching a series of interminably lengthy conversations inside a car makes for stultifying viewing. And the abrupt ending, which highlights the fictional nature of the whole enterprise, is mystifying.

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