A Little Kiss | Chicago Reader

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Director Bahman Farmanara (Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine) spent many years in artistic exile from revolutionary Iran, an experience that informs this 2005 philosophical drama about two writers nearing the end of their lives. Shebli has stuck it out in Iran and become a national hero; his old friend Sa'adi returns from abroad after 38 years to find that neither his family nor the public wants anything to do with him. Like Sa'adi, Farmanara's film often seems divided against itself: the sharp portraits of the writers are undercut by a story-within-the-story involving two grave robbers, and the fine Beckettian weirdness of the extended opening scene in Shebli's apartment gives way to a lugubrious road trip. In Farsi with subtitles. 100 min.

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