Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Abbas Kiarostami’s10 takes place entirely in a car moving through the busy streets of Tehran. Shot with a compact digital camera fixed to the dashboard, it consists simply of conversations between the driver, a striking woman in raffish headscarf and dark glasses, and her passengers. The technique may be minimalist, but the film feels as busy as the streets – and as packed with dramatic evidence of a society in the throes of change. It opens with a blazing tirade from a 10-year-old boy whose brazen contempt for his divorcee mother (at the driving wheel) bespeaks a culture dense with male privilege. After she’s deposited the boy at his soccer match, we see her with her sister and with various hitchhikers including a remarkably frank sex worker. As the interactions progress, a clear and fascinating picture of the driver emerges.
“Riveting… If you’re weary of all the rhetoric about digital video opening up a new snappy, zappy, no-budget cinema, Kiarostami’s film will come as a revelation of starker, simpler, richer possibilities.” — Jonathan Romney, The Independent