A husband and wife are travelling through Iran by car when they break down in a remote village. A local teacher agrees to help the husband to repair the vehicle while the wife supervises his class in this humanist drama.
Although Alireza Raisian is credited as director of this, his third feature, the signature of Abbas Kiarostami (on whose story the action is based) is evident in every frame. The clash of urban and rural cultures, the folly of dependence on technology and the significance of women and education to the future of Iran are trademark Kiarostami topics.
But Raisian deserves credit for exploring these themes with a realism, empathy and gentle humour that avoids sentimentality. He's assisted by cinematographer Mohammad Aladpoush's respectful images of the crumbling village and its desolate environs, and Leila Hatami's sensitive performance as a woman who agrees to supervise a class of underprivileged children while their jack-of-all-trades teacher helps her husband repair their car. Consequently, it's impossible not to be touched by such compassionate humanism.
Raisian deserves credit for exploring such themes with a realism, empathy and gentle humour that avoids sentimentality.