Internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami died last week at the age of 76. In 1997, his film “Taste of Cherry won top prize at the Cannes Film Festival and recently, he directed Juliette Binoche in the terrific “Certified Copy.” His films have been praised by Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
“He had the authority of poetry, the authority of art and the authority of cinema,” says Dorna Khazeni, a translator who worked closely with Kiarostam. “That really truly went beyond the confines of the time and place he happened to be in [in] Iran. He would take a small subject and by paring it down and excluding so much in that small subject, he was able to capture a truth in time and place that transcended the particularities and that was decipherable to any viewer, anywhere.”
Abbas Kiarostami was a great filmmaker and symbol of the power of art in Iran — even in a country that doesn’t officially honor all dimensions of expression, Mr. Kiarostami always found a way through his films to be heard… and seen.