Zang-e Tafrih

Abbas Kiarostami
France, Iran, 11 min

A boy is punished, in his school corridor, for breaking a window with a ball. He then gets involved, almost by chance, in a football match that turns out badly.  He runs away, hides, then takes a rough track that leads to the outskirts of town… This is the tragic dilemma of Kiarostami’s hero: how to overcome his fear and loneliness while preserving the object of his desire?

A boy is punished, in his school corridor, for breaking a window with a football. After school, he comes upon a football match organized by some older boys, who block his way. He joins in the game without intending to, by heading the ball into a neighbouring courtyard. An older boy chases him, he runs away, hides, then takes a rough track that leads to the outskirts of town… This, condensed into a few minutes, is the drama lived by Kiarostami’s hero. Overcoming his loneliness and fear, saving the object of his desire, which is also the object of his passion, starting with his suffering: bread, football, exercise book, no matter. One of the film’s first shots is unforgettable. It shows the child in close-up in the glazed corridor of his school, while the lens focuses in on the hole in the broken window, revealing the child being beaten by his teacher, as if framed by this hole of his original sin. A cinematic reversal, saying that any man who wants to satisfy his longings must break the window of appearances and one day pay the price.

Laurent Roth

Translation BMP Translations

Duration
11 min
Year
1972
Country
France, Iran
Section
Port Franc
Language
no dialogue