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A photographer drives through the desert, stopping occasionally to shoot old buildings, but his wife, sleeping in the seat next to him, isn't visible at first, a telling comment on the status of women in Iranian society. (“The best woman is a sleeping one,” the husband remarks.) Leila Hatami expertly portrays the gentle wife, who overshadows her husband when their Blazer breaks down and she teaches a day of school in the nearest village, a desolate settlement consisting mostly of women and children. She forges a real bond with the children, who include an affecting disabled girl; in the poignant conclusion, the kids refuse to stop running after the couple as they drive away. The film's relaxed pace, unassuming tone, and respect for its characters all recall the films of Abbas Kiarostami, who provided the story idea, but director Ali Reza Raisian adds a slightly more dramatic and emotional edge. In Farsi with subtitles. 100 min.

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