Iranian Abbas Kiarostami burst onto the international film scene in the early 1990s and—as demonstrated by the many major prizes he has won—is now widely regarded as one of the most distinctive and talented modern-day directors. In 2002, with 10, Kiarostami broke new ground, fixing one or two digital cameras on a car's dashboard to film ten conversations between the driver (Mania Akbari) and her various passengers. The results are astonishing: though formally rigorous, even austere, and documentary-like in its style, 10 succeeds both as emotionally affecting human drama and as a critical analysis of everyday life in today's Tehran.
In this study, Geoff Andrew looks at 10 within the context of Kiarostami's career, of Iranian cinema's recent renaissance, and of international film culture. Drawing on a number of detailed interviews he conducted with both Kiarostami and his lead actress, Andrew sheds light on the unusual methods used in making the film, on its political relevance, and on its remarkably subtle aesthetic.