Celebrated Iranian director, whose Taste of Cherry won Cannes’ top prize in 1997, remained in the country after the Islamic revolution and continued to flourish.
Abbas Kiarostami, the multi-award-winning Iranian director whose 1997 film Taste of Cherry was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, has died aged 76.
“Abbas Kiarostami, who had travelled to France for treatment, has died,” reported the semi-official Isna news agency on Monday. Iran’s house of cinema confirmed the report, Isna said. Kiarostami had been diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer in March 2016, and had undergone a series of operations, including in Paris last month.
Speaking to the Guardian from Tehran, Oscar-winning Iranian film-maker Asghar Farhadi – who had been due to fly to Paris to visit his friend later tonight – said he was “very sad, in total shock”.
“He wasn’t just a film-maker,” Farhadi continued, “he was a modern mythic, both in his cinema and his private life.” Farhadi said Kiarostami’s international success enabled many generations of Iranian film-makers: “He definitely paved ways for others and influenced a great deal of people. It’s not just the world of cinema that has lost a great man; the whole world has lost someone really great.”
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