Where Is the Friend’s House?

Where Is the Friend’s House?

A child tries to do right by his friend in this moving portrait of life in rural Iran

The Very Best

8.5

Movie

Iran
Persian
Drama, Family
1987
ABBAS KIAROSTAMI
Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Biman Mouafi, Mohamed Hocine Rouhi
83 min

What it's about

An 8 year old boy must return his friend's notebook he took by mistake, lest his friend be punished by expulsion from school.

The take

Abbas Kiarostami delivers a tale of towering simplicity. A young boy mistakenly takes his friend’s notebook home and, knowing the friend faces expulsion without it, goes on a journey to bring it back. He visits the neighboring town but without a clue where his friend lives must rely on the kindness of strangers and overcome the stubbornness of adults who get in his way.

This adventure is both a loose moral parable as well as a striking portrait of life in rural Iran. More than this, it’s a testament to the capacity of children’s films to communicate depth when the filmmaker respects a child’s intelligence. The earnest young actors at its heart add an emotional immediacy that underscores Kiarostami’s empathetic direction.

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