The Report

Our Kiarostami birthday celebration starts with "The Report گزارش" his first feature film. Often neglected, this collaboration between - now titans - of Iranian cinema such as Bahman Farmanara (as producer) Alireza Zarrin Dast (cinematographer) and Shohreh Aghdashloo feels like a ghost ship lying on the shoreline of an abandoned island. Frame after frame, one is reminded of the spaces and people that don't exist anymore. Made before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Kiarostami's first film is not really a celebration of life. This film goes into the mundanity of the life of a young tax collector, his broken relationship with his wife, and the nightlife scene of the pre-revolutionary Tehran. This life is shattered after he's accused of accepting a bribe, an accusation that pushes his family towards a rapid breakdown. A mirror image of the Iranian society on the fast track to modernization, and a family disintegrating before our eyes. These events strangely foreshadow what happened in Iran in the next years, and the generations of young Iranians that soon lost everything they had.