ABC Africa

Director appearance cancelled
Screening on Film
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami.
Iran, 2001, 35mm, color, 84 min.
Farsi with English subtitles.

At the request of the United Nations, the celebrated Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami traveled to Uganda to examine the plight of children left orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Several of Kiarostami’s previous works had focused on the lives of children, and this particular assignment seemed well suited to the concerns of one of the cinema’s great humanists and most resourceful documentarians. Taking a small digital video camera to Uganda on a preproduction visit, Kiarostami began recording his encounters; the preliminary images he captured there eventually became the material for the film itself. The resulting work presents, in nearly equal doses, the unfettered beauty of the land where civilization began and the horror of the modern plague that threatens to wipe out its people. Kiarostami is ultimately awestruck by the mysterious affirmation of life that exists amid even such ostensibly desperate circumstances.

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