Through the Olive Trees

Last updated
Through the Olive Trees
Through the Olive Trees poster.jpg
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Produced byAbbas Kiarostami
Written byAbbas Kiarostami
Starring Hossein Rezai
Farhad Kheradmand
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz
Cinematography Hossein Jafarian
Edited byAbbas Kiarostami
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date
  • May 1994 (1994-05)(Cannes)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryIran
Language Persian

Through the Olive Trees (Persian : زیر درختان زیتونZīr-e Derakhtān-e Zeytūn, actually meaning Under the Olive Trees) is an Iranian 1994 film directed and written by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, set in earthquake-ravaged Northern Iran. The film was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 67th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. [1]

Contents

It is the final part of Kiarostami's Koker trilogy, and the plot revolves around the production of the second film; And Life Goes On... , which itself was a revisitation of the first film - Where Is the Friend's Home? . Like much of Kiarostami's work, Through the Olive Trees is filmed in a naturalistic way; a complex study of the link between art and life, its narrative often blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. Many have since declared the film a masterpiece.

Plot

Hossein Rezai plays a local stonemason-turned-actor. Outside the set of a film in which he is acting, he makes a marriage proposal to his leading lady, a student named Tahereh, who was orphaned by an earthquake. Because he is poor and illiterate, the girl's family finds his offer insulting; the girl avoids him as a result. She continues evading him even when they are filming, as she seems to have trouble grasping the difference between her role in the film and her real-life self. The fictional couple takes part in what would be the filming of Life, and Nothing More....

The situation complicates further as Hossein still pursues the affections of the young actress while the film goes on. The director learns about this and tries to advise Hossein about what to do. He then illustrates their story and where the conflict began. The girl manages to finish the scene while Hossein woos her and then departs by walking as Hossein runs to follow her.

In the final scene, at a great distance, the girl finally gives an answer to Hossein and we are left with him running through a green field and back into the olive grove. The audience is left to wonder what response was given by the girl.

Reception

The film was well-received amongst international cinema critics, especially in France, and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. [2] It won the Espiga de Oro at the 1994 Seminci in Valladolid. In particular, its ambiguous final scene has been widely discussed and celebrated.

In the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, six critics and four directors ranked Through the Olive Trees one of the 10 greatest films ever made. [3]

Miramax Films had also acquired the United States distribution rights to Through the Olive Trees and the film was given a limited US theatrical release in 1995. However, Miramax Films hasn't released this movie on DVD yet.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Life Is Beautiful</i> 1997 Italian film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni

Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote the film with Vincenzo Cerami. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner, who employs his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. The film was partially inspired by the book In the End, I Beat Hitler by Rubino Romeo Salmonì and by Benigni's father, who spent two years in a German labour camp during World War II.

Abbas Kiarostami Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer

Abbas Kiarostami was an Iranian film director, screenwriter, poet, photographer, and film producer. An active film-maker from 1970, Kiarostami had been involved in the production of over forty films, including shorts and documentaries. Kiarostami attained critical acclaim for directing the Koker trilogy (1987–1994), Close-Up (1990), The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), and Taste of Cherry (1997), which was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival that year. In later works, Certified Copy (2010) and Like Someone in Love (2012), he filmed for the first time outside Iran: in Italy and Japan, respectively. His films Where Is the Friend’s Home?, Close-Up, and The Wind Will Carry Us were ranked among the 100 best foreign films in a 2018 critics' poll by BBC Culture. Close-Up was also ranked one of the 50 greatest movies of all time in the famous decennial Sight & Sound poll conducted in 2012.

<i>Children of Heaven</i> 1997 film directed by Majid Majidi

Children of Heaven is a 1997 Iranian family drama film written and directed by Majid Majidi. It deals with a brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998.

Cinema of Iran Film industries in Iran

The Cinema of Iran, also known as the Cinema of Persia, refers to the cinema and film industries in Iran which produce a variety of commercial films annually. Iranian art films have garnered international fame and now enjoy a global following. Iranian films are usually written and spoken in the Persian language. Iranian cinema has had many ups and downs.

Jafar Panahi Iranian film director

Jafar Panâhi is an Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film editor, commonly associated with the Iranian New Wave film movement. After several years of making short films and working as an assistant director for fellow Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Panahi achieved international recognition with his feature film debut, The White Balloon (1995). The film won the Caméra d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, the first major award an Iranian film won at Cannes.

<i>Roma</i> (1972 film) 1972 film by Federico Fellini

Roma, also known as Fellini's Roma, is a 1972 semi-autobiographical comedy-drama film depicting director Federico Fellini's move from his native Rimini to Rome as a youth. It is a homage to the city, shown in a series of loosely connected episodes set during both Rome's past and present. The plot is minimal, and the only "character" to develop significantly is Rome herself. Peter Gonzales plays the young Fellini, and the film features mainly newcomers in the cast.

<i>Taste of Cherry</i> 1997 Iranian film directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Taste of Cherry is a 1997 Iranian drama film written, produced and directed by Abbas Kiarostami. It is a minimalist film about a man who drives through a city suburb, in search of someone who can carry out the task of burying him after he commits suicide. It was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, which it shared with The Eel.

<i>Life, and Nothing More...</i> 1992 film by Abbas Kiarostami

And Life Goes On is a 1992 Iranian film directed by Abbas Kiarostami. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. It is considered the second film in Kiarostami's Koker trilogy.

<i>Crimson Gold</i> 2003 film by Jafar Panahi

Crimson Gold is a 2003 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, and written by Abbas Kiarostami. The film was never distributed in Iranian theatres, because it was considered too "dark". Therefore, it was not possible that Crimson Gold be considered as the Iranian entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2003 Oscars as it was not released in Iran.

<i>Gabbeh</i> (film) 1996 film by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Gabbeh is a 1996 Iranian film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

<i>The White Balloon</i> 1995 film by Jafar Panahi

The White Balloon is a 1995 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, with a screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami. It was Panahi's feature-film debut as director. The film received many strong critical reviews and won numerous awards in the international film fairs around the world including the Prix de la Camera d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. The Guardian has listed this film as one of the 50 best family films of all time. The film is on the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

Asghar Farhadi Iranian film director and screenwriter

Asghar Farhadi is an Iranian film director and screenwriter.

Koker trilogy 1987-1994 Three films directed by Abbas Kiarostami

The Koker trilogy is a series of three films directed by acclaimed Iranian film-maker Abbas Kiarostami: Where Is the Friend's Home? (1987), Life, and Nothing More... and Through the Olive Trees (1994). The designation was made by film theorists and critics, rather than by Kiarostami himself, who resists the designation and notes that the films are connected only by the accident of place. He has suggested that it might be more appropriate to consider the latter two titles plus Taste of Cherry (1997) as a trilogy, since these are connected by the theme of life's preciousness.

1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake earthquake

The 1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake occurred on June 21 at 00:30:14 local time in northern Iran. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.4 and a Mercalli Intensity of X (Extreme). Widespread damage occurred to the northwest of the capital city of Tehran, including the cities of Rudbar and Manjil. The National Geophysical Data Center estimated that $8 billion in damage occurred in the affected area. Other earthquake catalogs presented estimates of the loss of life in the range of 35,000–50,000, with a further 60,000–105,000 that were injured.

<i>Life, Above All</i> 2010 film

Life, Above All is a 2010 South African drama film directed by Oliver Schmitz. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the South African entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and made the final shortlist announced in January 2011. The film was adapted from the 2004 novel Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton.

<i>Our Children</i> 2012 film

Our Children is a 2012 Belgian-French psychological drama film directed by Joachim Lafosse. It is based on a real-life incident involving a woman, who killed her five children. The film competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival under the title Loving Without Reason, where Émilie Dequenne won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress.

<i>A Cube of Sugar</i> 2011 film

A Cube of Sugar is a 2011 Iranian drama film directed by Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi. It had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival on 8 October 2011.

<i>The Past</i> (2013 film) 2013 film by Asghar Farhadi

The Past is a 2013 French–Italian–Iranian drama film, written and directed by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi and starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa.

<i>The Scent of Green Papaya</i> 1992 film by Tran Anh Hung

The Scent of Green Papaya is a 1993 Vietnamese-language film produced in France by Lazennec Production, directed by Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung, and starring Tran Nu Yên-Khê, Man San Lu, and Thi Loc Truong.

References

  1. Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  2. "Festival de Cannes: Through the Olive Trees". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  3. "Through the Olive Trees (1994)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2015.