Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Iran, 1987. Kanun parvaresh fekri. Screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami. Cinematography by Farhad Saba. Produced by Ali Reza Zarrin. Music by Amine Allah Hessine. Film Editing by Abbas Kiarostami.
After a little boy is chastised in the local village school for doing his homework on scrap paper instead of in his assigned notebook, his classmate Ahmed accidentally takes the notebook home with him. Ahmed fears for his friend getting into trouble the next day, determined to find the boy’s house and give him back his book, so he sets out against his mother’s orders and wanders the surrounding neighbourhoods. He encounters cantankerous old people, indifferent neighbours and his own peers who, like him, have to juggle their school work with the chores that have them contributing to the running of their households. Played out in the natural, subtle style that has marked Abbas Kiarostami’s career since this early international breakout, this film is also blessed with charming performances by its youngsters and a sweet tone that is maintained even when the sun goes down and the situation becomes slightly more threatening.