Behind the Wheel with Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami’s Koker Trilogy is a true marvel of narrative construction: the neorealist-like odyssey of Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987) gives way to the slippery intermingling of fact and fiction in And Life Goes On (1992), a road movie that returns to the now-earthquake-ravaged village where the earlier film was set, which leads to Through the Olive Trees (1994), a fictionalized look behind the scenes of And Life Goes On. Not just a clever hall of mirrors, though, Kiarostami’s triptych is also an undeniably affecting masterstroke, ever attentive to the poignancy and complexity of the human relationships that underlie village life and the process of moviemaking itself. Among the supplements on our new edition of The Koker Trilogy is Abbas Kiarostami: Truths and Dreams, a 1994 documentary in which the director—from behind the wheel of a car, a frequent setting in his movies, and wearing his signature sunglasses—opens up about his work. In the above clip from the supplement, he responds passionately to a question about the humanist themes that define not only The Koker Trilogy but all of his work: those of love and friendship.