Archive for August 4th, 2015

friends house

by Aaron West

Abbas Kiarostami’s introduction to the (unofficial) Koker Trilogy, Where is my Friend’s House? (also referred to as Where the the Friend’s Home? is a story of a moral journey. It parallels with one of Kiarostami’s better known films, A Taste of Cherry because they both portray the protagonist on different and morally contrasting quests. In Cherry, Mr. Badil is intent on finding someone to commit an act that may go against his morals, even if it might mean peace and an end to a man’s misery. Few wish to assist him in this act. Conversely, Ahmed, is on a journey to save his friend from suffering consequences for a mistake that Ahmed made.

Ahmed is reprimanded at school by a strict teacher for using the wrong type of paper for his homework and threatened with expulsion. While helping his friend, Nematzedeh, pick up their books, he accidentally ends up with his notebook. Having felt the pressures at school of turning in the wrong homework, Ahmed does the right thing and searches for his friend to return his notebook. The only problem is he does not know where this friend lives, only that he lives in Poshteh, which is a long ways from the school. He decides to spend his evening searching for this friend in order to return the notebook, hoping that he will find help along the way to direct him to his friend’s house.

Both films show the protagonist traveling back and forth along familiar terrain. Through the journey, they meet many individuals whose assistance they want to recruit in carrying out their task. In Cherry, it is to end one’s life; in Friend, it is to save another’s skin. Ahmed, however benevolent, is naive and confused, even lost for much of the time He is a child and helpless to find his friend without the assistance of others. The adult is self-assured, committed to the task at hand, but he also requires others to carry out his task. The child pleads for the assistance of the adults, appealing towards their good nature to help a child with a predicament, whereas the adult tries to manipulate people to do something contrary to what they believe is right with the promise of financial recompense. (more…)

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