The Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami is widely regarded as one of the great modern filmmakers, but if you discovered him at a particular peak of his international recognition — when he shared the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 for “Taste of Cherry” — you might have been baffled. “Taste of Cherry” follows an enigmatic driver who picks up passengers on the outskirts of Tehran. He plans to commit suicide, he says, and needs someone to bury him. For viewers unfamiliar with Kiarostami, watching more than an hour of such conversations was perplexing, even tedious.
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