The film’s structure contains ten long scenes. Kiarostami positioned two digital cameras in a car; one of them was aimed at the driver (Akbari) and the other at the passenger seated beside her. In the course of the film, the car travels along Tehran’s streets as the driver talks with various individuals sitting beside her in the passenger’s seat. She has conversations with her son, with her daughter, with a hooker who accidentally enters her car, with a young female hitchhiker who is returning home after having prayed at the tomb of a Muslim saint, and with an elderly female hitchhiker who is headed for that very same tomb.
This masterpiece by one of Iran’s greatest film directors challenges the concept of Italian neo-realism and redefines it. Working with documentary materials, Kiarostami breaks down the barrier distinguishing feature films from documentaries. The result is clearly visible in the quality and complexity of the dialogue between the driver and her ten-year-old son. The son is full of resentment toward his mother for her having divorced his father and for her having shown preference for another man. The viewer will be utterly amazed by the frankness with which the various individuals converse in the film, which also exposes the status of women in Iran at the start of the 21st century.

Credits

Producer: מארין קרמיץ, עבאס קיארוסטמי | Script: עבאס קיארוסטמי | Cast: מניה אכברי, אמין מאהר | Camera: עבאס קיארוסטמי | Editing: עבאס קיארוסטמי, ווחיז גזי, בהאמן קיארוסטמי