by Afra Nariman
So Can I (1975)
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
The world that Abbas Kiarostami lived in was not a particularly ideal one; yet his cinema represents the beauty one can find in any corner of society, of nature, and of circumstance. That being said, there is a stark difference between the films of his which portray the lives of youth, and the ones which offer the perspective of grown ups. In Taste of Cherry and Close-Up, the world has long and repeatedly acted upon the adult protagonists — it’s ugliness, limitations, social politics, etc. have left a tainted and tiresome mark on the lives of those who have begun to lose hope as they try to stay afloat in a world, a society, which continues to take from their life-force. In contrast, in a film such as Where is the Friend’s House?, Kiarostami places his child protagonist on a moral pedestal — and logic or social conditioning have not yet influenced the child’s mind or heart.
Children, for Kiarostami, represented a future better than the world and society he knew. For him, children were capable of doing anything, even create a better future for his country if given the right amount of support (seen in WITFH, also in Homework, 1987, etc). While this short film seems a fun, silly little exercise on the surface; it’s really also a simplified illustration of Kiarostami’s sustained belief in the power of wonder and fearlessness that children have. Not onlyare they capable of doing anything, but they haven’t yet been told/taught what they can’t do, so they genuinely believe they can do anything, too.
MY RATING /5:
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