In conjunction with the 27th edition of the Houston Iranian Film Festival, the Menil presents acclaimed filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s final installment of his celebrated Koker trilogy, Through the Olive Trees (1994, 103 min., Farsi with English subtitles). Unfolding “behind the scenes” of the previous film in the series, And Life Goes On…, Through the Olive Trees traces the complications that arise when the romantic misfortune of one of the actors—a lovelorn young man who pines for the woman cast as his wife even though, in real life, she will have nothing to do with him—creates turmoil on set and leaves the hapless director caught in the middle. An ineffably lovely, gentle human comedy steeped in the folkways of Iranian village life, Through the Olive Trees peels away layer after layer of artifice as it investigates the elusive, alchemical relationship between cinema and reality. The first two films in the trilogy have screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (January 18) and the Asia Society Texas Center (January 19).
About the artist
Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016) is the most acclaimed and influential of Iran’s major filmmakers. The first film of his Koker trilogy, Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987), won the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, and was followed by And Life Goes On… (1992), and Through the Olive Trees (1994), which earned Kiarostami wide acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. His next film, Taste of Cherry (1997) became the first—and so far, only—Iranian film to win the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.
This program is free and open to the public; seating is available on a first-come first-serve basis. Further information regarding accessibility and parking can be found here.