Art And Culture

Fans Pay Final Respects to Abbas Kiarostami

Sports, Art & Culture Desks
Fans Pay Final Respects  to Abbas Kiarostami Fans Pay Final Respects  to Abbas Kiarostami

The 2-kilometer-long Hijab Street in central Tehran was closed on Sunday morning as thousands of people converged to attend the funeral of the prominent filmmaker Abbas Kairostami which began at the main branch of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA).

The IIDCYA was packed with fans who held pictures and posters of the late filmmaker and stood quietly with a gloomy look on their faces.

Famous actor Parviz Parastoui hosted the ceremony in which several renowned figures in different fields of art and culture spoke about Kiarostami. Pointing to his versatility, Parastoui said, “He was not just a filmmaker, a poet, a photographer and a graphic designer, but all of them; he is synonymous with supreme art of the vast land of Iran”.

The veteran graphic designer Ebrahim Haqiqi said, “It is difficult to talk about someone with whom I had 45 years of friendship and collaboration. He introduced a new alphabet to the world cinema and taught us that a film which is full of compassion can unite the hearts of the global audience”.

The Oscar-winning film director Asghar Farhadi said, “I thank you (Kiarostami) for bringing respect to the name of this country.” He also pointed to his perseverance in making movies inside the country, despite all the difficulties, which aroused curiosity towards Iran cinema in the world.

Kiarostami who won the Palm d’Or for ‘Taste of Cherry’ 19 years ago, made most of his movies in the country but many of them were not shown in local cinemas. However, he never left Iran, and this is why he is so much respected among all Iranians.

In a statement Kiarsotami had once said, “When you take a tree that is rooted in the ground, and transfer it to another place, the tree will no longer bear fruit. And if it does, the fruit will not be as good as it would be in its original place. This is a law of nature. I think if I had left my country, I would be the same as the tree”.

Kiarostami’s oldest son Ahmad thanked the efforts by House of Cinema for organizing the ceremony and the IIDCYA for providing a platform for filmmakers to make their films many years ago - the late Kiarostami started his filmmaking activities from the institute in the late 1960s.

Ahmad said his father never complained that his works were not shown in the country and quoted him as saying, “I have been to many international festivals but it never feels the same when it is in your home country. It is all the more appealing”.


The veteran director Masoud Kimiai, also an old friend of Kiarostami couldn’t hide his grief and just sufficed to say briefly that although Kiarostami’s body is gone, his name will be immortal.

President Hassan Rouhani’s brother Hossein Fereydoun and a number of MPs also took part in the ceremony along with cineastes, artists and art fans.

The coffin containing Kiarostami’s body was carried by a number of assistant directors and during the funeral procession, the mourners besides chanting “La Ilaha Illa’llah” (there is no god except Allah), said “Long live the memory of Kiarostami” and sang ‘O, Iran,’ a patriotic song.

The funeral prayer of the late movie director was held by Hojatolislam Mahmoud Doai, the veteran managing director of Ettela’at newspaper, in the open grounds of the IIDCYA in the presence of his family, friends, cineastes, artists and fans.

After about two hours, the coffin was carried to the ambulance to take Kiarostami’s mortal remains to the northeastern suburb of Lavasan, where he had wished to be buried.

The burial ceremony was more of a private affair at around noon in Lavasan in the presence of Kiarsotami’s family and close friends.

Kiarostami suffered a sudden brain stroke and passed away at the age of 76 on July 4 in Paris where he was receiving medical treatment after having undergone several surgeries in Tehran for gastrointestinal cancer since March.

Cultural officials and cineastes received Kiarostami’s body at a formal ceremony on Friday, (July 8), when a red carpet was rolled out at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport after its arrival from France.