This past weekend we watched Taste of Cherry, a splendid Iranian film from director Abbas Kiarostami. The story follows a man Mr. Badii (masterfully played by Homayon Ershadi) on what may be his last day of life. He is on a quest to find a man willing to place the final shovelfuls of soil over his body after he commits suicide.
It is a very meditative film with long stretches of time spent with Badii as he drives and drives his Range Rover through the streets of Tehran and the surrounding hillsides, searching for just the right man. Over the course of the day, he finds men of various ages, nationalities, and beliefs about suicide, and attempts to sway them into his favor. You need not worry; there is little repetition in this, as the various conversations form a single thoughtful narrative.
As someone who has suffered from suicidal bouts since the fourth grade, I could appreciate the steadiness of Badii’s desire to end his life as well as the longing to meet it with a certain dignity. Perhaps it is also why, when I asked Gregory if he would do as Badii requested and he said “No,” I already knew, without question, that I would. I know that pain. That being said, this, for me, was ultimately an uplifting and hopeful film, for isn’t it marvelous when you can connect with the right person at just the right time? I think so.
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