The Wind Will Carry Us

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The Wind Will Carry Us
The Wind Will Carry Us poster.jpg
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Produced by Abbas Kiarostami
Written by Abbas Kiarostami
Starring Behzad Dorani
Cinematography Mahmoud Kalari
Distributed by New Yorker Films (USA)
Release dates
6 September 1999 (Venice Film Festival)
Running time
118 min.
Language Persian

The Wind Will Carry Us (Persian: باد ما را خواهد برد‎‎, Bād mā rā khāhad bord) is a 1999 Iranian film by Abbas Kiarostami. The title is a reference to a poem written by the modern Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad.

The Wind Will Carry Us opened to widely positive reviews from critics; in 1999, it was nominated for the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival. It won the Grand Special Jury Prize (Silver Lion), the FIPRESCI Prize, and the CinemAvvenire award at the festival. It received numerous other nominations and awards as well.

Plot summary[edit]

Behzad, Keyvan, Ali and Jahan, journalists posing as production engineers, arrive in a Kurdish village to document the locals' mourning rituals that anticipate the death of an old woman, but she remains alive. The main engineer is forced to slow down and appreciate the lifestyle of the village.


The Wind Will Carry Us is a poetic interpretation of issues such as life and death, the modern and traditional, and the local and global. A traditional village with its old rituals and laid-back life is visited by three strangers whose intentions are mysteriously kept back from the village. A cell phone connects the remote village to an external world that seems to be waiting for the ancient to die. The "urbanite" visitors interfere with the mundane routines of secluded lives, metaphorically portrayed when the engineer (named Behzad) enters a barn to buy milk from a young girl. At times, the local appears to be defenseless regarding his presence, and is simply accommodating; other times, however, she is clearly irritated. The two worlds do not confront each other, however, nor do old and new. Rather, these binary oppositions melt in a poetic landscape that shies away from providing answers. There are several references to the poems of Iranian poets such as Omar Khayyám and Forough Farrokhzad in the film that are all about the ideas of life and death.



The Wind Will Carry Us opened to wide acclaim from critics. Many hailed it as a masterpiece; the film further cemented Kiarostami's position as one of art-house circles' favorite directors of recent years. In a hugely positive review Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote, "This ambiguous comic masterpiece could be Abbas Kiarostami's greatest film to date; it's undoubtedly his richest and most challenging ... You have to become friends with this movie before it opens up, but then its bounty is endless." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Sean Axmaker called it "a celebration of the human spirit nothing short of sublime." Michael Atkinson, after seeing the film in the first days of 2000, said, "[This is] the best film we'll see this year," and stood by his word. J. Hoberman wrote, "It's part of the movie's formal brilliance that, suddenly, during its final 10 minutes, too much seems to be happening. The Wind Will Carry Us is a film about nothing and everything—life, death, the quality of light on dusty hills." The film currently holds an 86/100 score on review aggregator Metacritic,[1] and Rotten Tomatoes reports 96% approval.[2]


The Wind Will Carry Us was nominated for the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics. After its screening at the 1999 Venice Film Festival, the film remained unreleased in the United States until 2000; ultimately, however, this was to its benefit, since it enjoyed a rediscovery among both the public and mainstream critics in the late 2000s after many critics named it one of the best films of that decade. Variety's Scott Foundas placed it ahead of Peter Watkins' La Commune (Paris, 1871) and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, writing:

"Screened in festivals in 1999, but not released in the US until the following year, this fin de siècle/millennium fable by the great Iranian auteur seemed to anticipate many of the dramatic changes that would sweep through filmmaking over the decade to come. In it, an engineer (who turns out to be a kind of filmmaker) travels to a remote Kurdish village with the intent of photographing the funeral rites of a dying 100-year-old woman, and the witty, haunting, poetic film that follows is about his—and Kiarostami's own—struggle to complete that mission, to capture something of real life on film without violating its essence. Kiarostami himself has not worked on film since, preferring the more portable and less invasive technology of video. Call it the first true movie of the digital revolution."[3]

In a 2012 poll by the British Film Institute, six critics, including Rosenbaum, ranked The Wind Will Carry Us one of their 10 favorite films.[4]


  1. ^ "The Wind Will Carry Us Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Wind Will Carry Us (2014) on RT". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ Best movies of the decade. Miami New Times (2009-12-24). Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
  4. ^ "Wind Will Carry Us, The (1999)". British Film Institute. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 

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