Good Example Of Taste Of Cherry Movie Review
Taste of Cherry directed by Abbas Kiarostami is one of the films that strikes me and makes me think deeply as its conclusion is totally left to a viewer’ understanding. It is a very impressive film. Badii, the main character of the film, is driving around in his car and looking for someone who will bury him after he commits suicide. He offers the amount of money which is equal to six months’ salary. Being religious, wealthy and healthy enough he wants stopping his life. However, I think, this film is not about suicide but about the attitude to this action from different points of view. He asks three people to assist him: the soldier, the theology and taxidermist.
Compare the three responses to Badii’s proposition to aid him commit suicide. How are these reactions related to the Islamic legal prohibition of taking one’s life?
In my opinion, the soldier represents the government’s attitude; the theology provides the attitude of Islam; the taxidermist regards to nature’s attitude. Three of them are in different ages: youth, middle age, old age. Moreover they all had different nationalities: Balli-Iranian, the soldier – Kurd, the seminarist – Afghan, the taxidermist – Turk. The soldier was shocked and didn’t want to be involved and run away, he was very sensible boy. He even wasn’t interested in the reason and didn’t try to stop him. He just wanted to get rid of Balli. The Afghan seminarist listened to Balli carefully, asked the reason and explained that it is a great sin. Killing is anyway killing even if your life hurts others. He wanted to stop him but Balli protested that he didn’t need a lecture. He refused the offer as his beliefs reject this. The last man – taxidermist agreed to help him. He also didn’t want Balli to commit suicide. If in other dialogues Balli asked questions and talked, here Mr. Bagheri talked and Balli listened. He could make Balli not want to leave the life. As Balli came back to him with request to take two stones to throw at him even shake his shoulder if he was alive. Mr. Bagheri told him his story when he wanted to die. He wanted to be the cherry for Balli which once saved his own life. According to Islam he did his best to change his mind, offered friendship. However Balli didn’t stop even if he wanted to live. We don’t see the end of the movie. May be Mr.Bagheri would find him alive.
Why would Badii still want to pursue his plan and why does he need a collaborator (someone who is involved in the suicide)?
There is no doubt Islam forbids to commit suicide, but it seems to me here the film is not about the suicide itself but it shows a quest to connect with something more heavenly, something above physical life even the action is negative. The last scene shows cherry blossoms and beautiful things, has that message—that he has opened the door to heaven. Only Allah knows whom He will excuse. He needed someone because he wasn’t sure that he would die. He hoped to stay alive and that helper should hang his hand to help him. But in case he was dead he wanted to be buried, be remembered. He also wanted to give his money to someone who needed them that’s why he chose only poor people to make offer.
Do you think that that the private and secretive mission to die on the Badii has something to do with Iranian Islamic Revolution’s theme of the glory of becoming an Islamic martyr through the defense of the country?
Balli’s alienation is because of philosophical and social influence that Iranian society has been subjected to in the post-revolutionary period. In this period many people especially highly educated ones became alienated from others. He couldn’t live in the world where trials undergone by people who are in need of money; all the background of the film demonstrates it. Even so people don’t want to help him to commit suicide. His words to the seminarist “I know committing suicide is a great sin, but it is a greater sin if a human being is not happy, if he hurts others by being unhappy”.
What sense can we make of the ending of the film?
Kiarostami doesn’t show the end of Balli’s fate. However, I understand that a man has a choice in life. In difficult times we can open the door to another site but we choose to stay. God is merit and kind because he has given us this choice. New spring came, cherry tree was in blossom, sun was shining, and soldiers were hanging flowers instead of guns. Times will change, nothing is constant.
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