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470 Ratings


Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Iran, 2008
Avant-Garde, Drama


A hundred and fourteen famous Iranian actresses and a French star (Juliette Binoche) are the audience at a performance of a famous 12th century Persian poem. The performance remains off camera; the real story is told by the faces and reactions of the women…

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Shirin Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
The chorus of cinephilic love silently performed by every single actress onscreen creates moments of singular, devastating unity—between the women and the screen, the women themselves, and the women and the audience. Whether that feeling holds when the lights go up is another question.
July 29, 2019
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By recording this soundtrack after shooting the close-ups, Kiarostami creates a provocation/game in the vein of the “conversations” in TASTE OF CHERRY and THE WIND WILL CARRY US that were shot one character at a time. As in all his work, the mystery of the present moment takes precedence over cause and resolution.
May 13, 2016
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When the audience becomes more alert, we are signaled to expect conflict or drama, though the nature of it is not always divulged. Frequently, Kiarostami gives viewers only enough to taunt them; the in-film audience reveals nothing but that there is something to be revealed. By denying film’s most important attribute—the visual—Shirin underscores the ability of imagery to create nuanced meaning.
September 19, 2014
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What are people saying?

  • Jason's rating of the film Shirin

    SHIRIN -- which is breathtaking, a masterpiece, a true conceptual coup -- above all else returns to the cinema its status as preeminent house of worship. There is much to be unpacked re: the construction of filmed female-centric narratives as a repository for suppressed female desires in a culture that routinely forbids them not only their desires but their very visibility. This is a film of profound visibilities.

  • anarresti's rating of the film Shirin

    This film has everything that makes Kiarostami's work something so beautiful, powerful, so hard to figure out. I do feel tempted to talk of women and how they are portrayed in his films. Or about how the figure of the viewer, here, might be the medium. Or how, strangely, after a while, this did feel like the natural way to tell a story. But all is noise. Because his cinema becomes, always, about my experience of it.

  • comeandsee's rating of the film Shirin

    i thought this was very fascinating. no masterpiece. but as a piece which connects direct to the audience it works perfectly, it is pure cinema. and its so ironic that the film they are watching does not exist, and there was no cinema involved only the house of the director. and that all the women are actresses. but thats all part of the premise. i love how kiarostami takes his cinema to this logical point.

  • Edwin N's rating of the film Shirin

    I happen to have studied the Persan Fable about Shirin and Khosroh in Arabic class last year (9th Grade studies about outside factors contributing to the Arab Intellectual Revolution in 678). I find it not that interesting, and not that passionate about the showing of these females' sacrifices. So this is my problem with the film. Why not capture a film session with a more shocking, more interpelling representation?

  • Creme Tangerine's rating of the film Shirin

    a beautiful, poetic film that moved me beyond words. wish i could see myself watching it, as i saw these beautiful women watch the story of Khosrow and Shirin unfold ......faces tell a story!

  • Yasser Azmy's rating of the film Shirin

    As john cage did on 4'33 the idea of a piece composed entirely of silence , simillar approach on shirin the camera pointing to the audience for 90 min , non film non entertain , but you cant miss the important observation of work like that , anyways i like ten min older much more because real events rather than setup

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Shirin

    A very conceptual film from Abbas Kiarostami and a deeply intellectual and radical film that deserves a lengthy discussion. A true must see for all Kiarostami fans!

  • Matt Parks's rating of the film Shirin

    Forthcoming on R1 DVD from the Cinema Guild, apparently (according to Jonathan Rosenbaum) to include "Roads of Kiarostami" as a bonus feature.

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