Gozaresh (The Report). 1977. Iran. Written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami. With Shohreh Aghdashloo, Kurosh Afsharpanah, Mehdi Montazar, Mostafa Tari. Digital projection. In Persian; English subtitles. 110 min.
Abbas Kiarostami’s second feature, about an unhappy marriage, offers a fascinating glimpse of middle-class life in Tehran in the 1970s—and continues to influence Iranian directors today, perhaps most obviously in Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation. Produced by Bahman Farmanara (marking Kiarostami’s consequential break with his usual producer and employer, the government agency Kanoon), this deftly crafted, semi-autobiographical domestic drama was the director’s first work to feature professional actors, including Shohreh Aghdashlou, who later became a major talent in American cinema and television. The Report was screened in Iran during the last months of the Pahlavi regime, before all but one of the copies were destroyed during the Revolution. (What survives and is screened today is thus in compromised condition.) Kiarostami certainly anticipated the social and political turmoil that would soon lead to revolution in Iran, and as the Iranian critic Nima Hassani-Nasab observes, his characters are torn between a desire to revolt on the one hand, and cowardice and social inaction on the other.”