Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Deserted, but Overflowing

Somehow I must have missed Ali Reza Raisian's hauntingly beautiful Deserted Station, which was released in its native Iran in 2002, but was only recently distributed in America. If it played in theaters it must have been a short run, which is a shame because it is one of those rare films that stays with you for days after you've seen it.

Deserted Station is available on DVD at some of the local video stores, which is cause for celebration. The story was written by acclaimed director Abbass Kiarostami (Ten, A Taste of Cherry, etc.), and tells the story of a married couple who get stranded in the desert while the husband is searching for landscapes to photograph. While he goes off with a man that promises to help fix their vehicle, the woman is left behind in a village that is mainly populated by children who have been abandoned by parents who have gone to work in the big cities. Since the mechanic is also the teacher in the small village, the woman takes his place and forges an unforgettable relationship with her students that evolves through the course of a single day.

The film starts slowly but gathers its narrative steam naturally until it leaves viewers breathless with its final heartbreaking sequences. Shot in a natural style and filled with the stark beauty of simple human kindness and compassion, Deserted Station is a charming oasis captured on film.



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