TEN (2002)

April 23, 2017
2:30 pm

Acclaimed Director Abbas Kiarostami has made numerous films that take place in and around cars and vehicles, but none more so than his 2002 film TEN. The film follows a woman (Mania Akbari) over the course of two to three days driving around in Tehran and the ten conversations that she has in her car. Conversations with her son, her sister, a bride to-be, a prostitute, and an elderly woman provide a glimpse into the lives of Iranian women from the admittedly limited point of view of the car.Utilizing just two fixed digital cameras, one placed on the driver side and the other on the passenger side, the film forces you into the position of the car itself. Aside from transporting people from place to place, the car acts as a sort of safe haven for the expressing of frustrations and concerns. Whether it's a son's rage against his mother's deception, a woman's worry about her fiance's commitment, or a prostitute's general cynicism about the world, the constantly traveling car is the perfect vehicle for their emotions.The film straddles the line between narrative and documentary, combining non-actors and improvisation with Kiarostami's scripting and peculiar sense of editing. Certain conversations are shot entirely one-sided and never show the other person's face, while others go back and forth. Mania's actual son plays himself in the film, and their conversations are rooted in personal history, lending a sense of airing of grievances to their scenes. All of this ultimately makes for a singularly unique and utterly compelling film to watch on the big screen.