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With: Hassan Darabi, Pare Gol Atashjameh, Masud Zandbegleh, Mostafa Taheri
Written by: Abbas Kiarostami, Hassan Rafi'i
Directed by: Abbas Kiarostami
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Persian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 83
Date: 01/01/1974

The Traveler (1974)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Soccer Away

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Abbas Kiarostami's first feature film, made in 1974 in black-and-white, already shows a masterly vision. It's a purified story of a young boy and his attempt to raise enough money to travel to Tehran to see a soccer match. The movie deserves comparison to Francois Trufaut's The 400 Blows (1959) in its realistic portrayal (and astonishing performances) of children. Kiarostami developed a more playful sense of cinema later on, but this raw, simple feature must have inspired generations of other Iranian filmmakers and films, including Kiarostami's own Where Is the Friend's House? (1987), Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon (1995) (from a screenplay by Kiarostami), and Majid Majidi's Children of Paradise (1998).

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