The Pear Tree. 1998. Iran. Directed by Dariush Mehrjui. Screenplay by Dariush Mehrjui, Goli Taraghi. With Golshifteh Farahani, Homayoun Ershadi. DCP. In Persian; English subtitles. 95 min.
Homayoun Ershadi (Taste of Cherry) plays a middle-aged intellectual who has returned to his childhood home in the countryside to write. As he suffers a bout of writer’s block, he remembers his first crush, M, performed by a radiant Golshifteh Farahani (Paterson, About Elly) at the age of 14. Personal life is intertwined with tumultuous political events in this nostalgic picture, beautifully lensed by Mahmoud Kalari, who fills the screen with sensual imagery and gives each stage of the protagonist’s life a distinct, ravishing visual identity. Directed by Dariush Mehrjui, one of the most enduring figures of Iranian cinema, who first became internationally known for his pioneering Iranian New Wave work The Cow (1969), The Pear Tree is a love poem to youth and memory.