Where Is the Friend’s Home?

As I wrote here, for me, the gold standard of films about childhood has long been Abbas Kiarostami’s Where Is the Friend’s Home?, so I was pleased to find this Poemas del río Wang post (which I apparently missed back in 2009) which explains that the movie’s title is taken from a poem by Sohrab Sepehri, quotes the poem in Persian (giving a transliterated version as well) and in translation (literal by Studiolum, the poster, and in a free Sufi-style version by Maryam Dilmaghani), and provides an audio clip of the poem (نشانی Neshâni ‘address, indication, sign, memento’) recited by Mahvash Shahegh. And there are the usual gorgeous photographs, as well as another audio clip of Shahab Tolouie’s Tango Perso, from the Persian-Flamenco CD Tango Perso (2009). Anyone interested in Kiarostami or Persian poetry should check it out. And Kiarostami fans will also like his recent post The best painting of Kamal-ol-Molk, about a painting that was featured in Life and Nothing More (aka And Life Goes On), the sequel to Where Is the Friend’s House?; it develops into a fascinating search for visual predecessors. I take this opportunity to once again give thanks for the indispensable Poemas del río Wang.


  1. Hmm, I seem to have used Where Is the Friend’s Home? and Where Is the Friend’s House? at random. Up with diversity, down with conformity!

  2. It seems this story was reiterated in the TV series NCIS, episode 10:13 “Hit and Run”, in which the young Abby Sciuto, in her first “case”, tracks down her friend Ricki, to return her teddy bear. A good story never dies.

  3. How strange – I just saw this for the first time yesterday, not having seen your post. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I did find myself wondering about some of what appeared to be very circular dialogue – is it generally stylized to play up the themes, do the English subtitles not catch variations in address, does it capture something about local modes of conversation?

  4. It’s been a while since I saw it; I’ll have to watch it again with your question in mind. What do you mean by “circular”?

  5. Such a beautiful film.

    Stylized. The circular dialogue (if bentelec means what I imagine) is a Kiarostami signature. One of the reasons his movies sometimes seem like they are going nowhere. But they are, they are.

  6. Yes indeed. Have you seen the two sequels? If not, hie thee hence and seek them out.

  7. Yes, the whole trilogy is wonderful. Good luck finding the sequels.

  8. I’ve just ordered the Criterion edition of the trilogy from Barnes & Noble (they’re having a half-price sale on Criterion till the end of the month) — can’t wait to see them again!

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