Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Taste of Cherries

In Abbas Kiorastami's film 'The Taste of Cherry', an Iranian man drives his truck across the countryside in search of someone who will bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide, he is tired of life. No one is willing, except an elderly taxidermist, who agrees only because he needs the money for an ill child. Yet the old man gently pleads with him to choose life, to embrace the joys of earthly existence, to remember the taste of cherries. He narrates to him how he had tried to kill himself 37 years ago.

He had intended to hang himself from a mulberry tree, and when he climbs the tree to secure the rope, just before dawn, he happens to see some ripe mulberries, and he eats a few. And in a flood the splendour of the natural world comes upon him and fills him to the brim, and he starts noticing the sunrise, he is spellbound as he sits there on the tree watching the light, he is "blown open". Later little children pass by on their way to school, and they stop to ask him for some mulberries. He gets down from the tree, offers them the fruits with a smile, and returns to his life.

Albors Pascal Askari, with his short pieces of fluid beauty, comes to me on the darkest of mornings, reminding me, briefly albeit, of the taste of cherries.

My Reason to Be:

"...You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open."

Postscript, Seamus Heaney, from 'The Spirit Level'

1 comment:

Rukhiya said...

When I watching this movie, I wanted it to end, soon. It felt like a drawl. But it always comes back: Those dusty roads, the people, the life and the protagonists resolve to let go of all life. His face!

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