Abbas Kiarostami, the award-winning Iranian director whose 1997 film Taste of Cherry was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, died aged 76, following a controversial surgery.
Kiarostami was born in 1940 in Tehran, and studied painting at the University of Tehran and immediately after that he began working as a graphic designer. In 1969 he joined Kanoon (the Center for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults), where he flourished as a film-maker. The Report (1977), and his Koker trilogy (including Where is the Friend’s Home? ) were his breakthrough feature made during his stay as director of Kanoon’s film section. The latter brought him his first major award, the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno film festival.
Life, and Nothing More… (1992), Through the Olive Trees (1994), Homework (1989), Close-Up (1990) sparkled an unrivaled genius whose ‘upward ascension’ was confirmed in 1997 with Taste of Cherry – an account of a man’s quest for a helper through his suicidal attempt. The feature was awarded the Palme d’Or of that year.
Had he not been carried away by sudden death, the world would be blessed with more stunning works of his that would accomplish a trend of poetic thought and peerless vision.
May he rest in peace.
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