Still of two boys standing against a brick wall in a still from 'Two Solutions For One Problem' (1975) (c) Kanoon
Still of two boys standing against a brick wall in a still from 'Two Solutions For One Problem' (1975) (c) Kanoon
Two Solutions for One Problem (1975, © Kanoon)

Presented by ACMI in association with Sydney Film Festival, NFSA & Melbourne Cinémathèque

Kiarostami: Short Films

Abbas Kiarostami | Unclassified (All Ages)

A rare chance to see Kiarostami's short films in stunning restorations on the big screen.

[These] are experimental films in the best sense, without pretension.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Format: DCP
Language: In Persian-Farsi with English subtitles
Source: MK2
Courtesy: MK2


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Unclassified (All Ages)

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How to get there

Bread and Alley

Nan va Koutcheh

"The mother of all my films," according to Abbas Kiarostami, begins as a breezily observed anecdote about a boy weaving through Tehran alleys with a loaf of bread. When he encounters a barking dog, the boy must find a way to continue his journey home safely in a poetic work that ultimately illuminates our individual experiences.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1970 | Iran | 10 mins

Still of old man and little boy in 'The Bread and Alley' (1970) (c) Kanoon


Zang-e Tafrih

Disciplined at school for breaking a window, a boy joins throngs of his schoolmates as they make a cacophonous exit into Tehran’s streets. This moody short shows Kiarostami expanding his visual vocabulary as the camera follows the young boy wreaking havoc at school and on the streets.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1972 | Iran | 11 mins

4 - Breaktime (c) Kanoon recess.jpg

So Can I

Man ham mitounam

Kiarostami’s collaboration with animator Nafiseh Riah was his first film made for children, rather than about them. This playful short features the filmmakers’ real-life sons as two schoolboys watching animated views of animals’ actions — kangaroos jumping, fish swimming, etc. – and imitating them to a sprightly soundtrack.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1975 | Iran | 4 mins

Two young boys attentively listening in a classrooom in a still from 'So Can I' (1975)

Two Solutions For One Problem

Dow Rahehal Baraye yek Massaleh

In this moral tale, seen by some as a precursor to Where is the friend’s house?, a young boy ponders whether to seek revenge on his classmate, or work together to find a solution. The film is shot mostly in close-ups, with a narrator drolly chronicling the action.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1975 | Iran | 5 mins

Kid wearing a headband with a red spot on it in a still from 'Two Solutions For One Problem' (1975) (c) Kanoon

Tribute to the Teachers

Bozorgdasht-e mo'Allem

Kiarostami’s homage to teachers, an assignment from the Ministry of Education, balances contrasting views from starry-eyed officials and over-worked frontline teachers.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1977 | Iran | 20 mins

Tribute to the Teachers-01.jpg


Rah Hal-e Yek

Against a backdrop of sublime scenery, a stranded motorist triumphantly rolls his mended tyre down a mountain with Kiarostami playfully scoring the action with music reminiscent of a western. This short was a departure for Kiarostami’s work with The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children & Young (Kanoon) – it was filmed outside Tehran during the Revolution and features no children.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1978 | Iran | 11 mins

Man rolling a tyre down a hill in a still from Solution (1978) (c) Kanoon.jpg

Orderly or Disorderly

Be Tartib ya Bedoun-e Tartib

The "most exemplary of Kiarostami’s shorts" (MUBI), Orderly or Disorderly begins with the snap of a clapboard and draws attention to the constructed nature of both filmmaking and the social order. A series of near-identical shots follow – like students descending a staircase or Tehran’s chaotic traffic – but in two competing modes that reflect discipline and anarchy, reinforcing the filmmaker and society’s attempt to organise the disorder.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1981 | Iran | 15 mins

Overhead shot of kids lining up on a school bastketball court in a still from 'Orderly or Disorderly' (1981) (c) Kanoon

The Colors


Ostensibly also a film for children, this picture-book essay about the range of hues that brighten our world has the air of a delightfully playful formalistic exercise. This commissioned short heightens children’s awareness of colours through everyday objects, and at the same time offers some of Kiarostami’s thoughts on Iran’s pre-Revolution consumerism.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1976 | Iran | 16 mins

Rainbow arrangement of bottles in a still from 'The Colours' (1976) (c) Kanoon

The Chorus


Kiarostami uses contrasting sound to mimic the experiences of an old man strolling through noisy city streets while tinkering with his hearing aid. When he arrives home and removes the aid, his granddaughter recruits her schoolfriends to get his attention from outside. A meditation on the contrasts of silence and sound, age and youth, solitude and solidarity.

Abbas Kiarostami | 1982 | Iran | 17 mins

Kids in headscarves crowding around a building in a still from 'The Chorus' (1982)

More films by Abbas Kiarostami

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Across three consecutive Wednesdays, we will be co-presenting films with the Melbourne Cinémathèque. Sessions are currently only available to pre-purchase in advance as part of a 3, 6 or 10 session pass. Tickets are limited.

Learn more

READ: Short and Sweet
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment, Jul 2000

READ: The Signature Themes in Abbas Kiarostami’s Masterful Short Films
Anthony Hawley, Hyperallergic, Aug 2019

5 - Orderly or Disorderly  (c) Kanoon.jpg

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