Life, and Nothing More... ★★★★½

⁣⁣A very personal film for Kiarostami (who would've turned 80 today) in a sense that its filming was inspired by the journey he made just 3 days after the 1990 Gilan Earthquake and this live experience of him knowing who survived or how they survived is all-evident throughout this "evidence" film with Kiarostami in the driver's seat literally as well as metaphorically in the guise of the protagonist who is, in turn, a film director that rides home one of the best fourth-wall breaks typical of Kiarostami as I went into this all blank, except for the fact that I know it's a part of the "Koker Trilogy". ⁣⁣⁣⁣
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There is the Kiarostami™ dashcam technique in And Life Goes On that he went on to use fully in Taste of Cherry and like the latter, there were plenty of in-car shots and conversations riding on the four wheels of life, death, documentary and fiction. While Taste of Cherry is death as seen from the perspective of life, And Life Goes On is life as seen from the perspective of death after the disaster. Some people blame God here, some compare earthquake to a "hungry wolf" by thinking those in its path were devoured while the rest were spared and Pouya compares it to a mad dog as in - "The earthquake is like a mad dog." "Those in its path are destroyed and the rest are spared."⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Alike Where is the Friend's Home?, Kiarostami quietly lets children do all the talking or rather driving to drive home several important points on life or hope and Pouya's monologue in this regard is so innocent yet so mature. Akin to the case of how we don't appreciate youth unless we stare death in the face, one of the takeaways here is, if the dead could come back and live again, they'd surely live better lives. Kiarostami didn't like the "Koker Trilogy" naming and instead suggested the latter two titles in it to be paired with Taste of Cherry and that makes sense as these two films (I'm yet to watch Through the Olive Trees) are all about life and nothing more.

M S Krishna Prateek liked these reviews