The Truth about Lies: The Relationship between Fiction and Reality in Abbas Kiarostami’s 'Certified Copy'

Maryse Bray, Agnès Calatayud


Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's essential and recurrent concern lies in the questioning of the notion of frontier in all shapes and forms—from the geographical to the personal. His latest film Certified Copy, ranks as a trademark production inasmuch as it epitomises Kiarostami's preoccupation with the permeability and inconsistency of the dividing line between reality and fiction—a preoccupation which runs through all his creative works, be they fiction film, experimental documentaries, poetry or photography. Our article examines the specific ways in which the reality/fiction trope is actualised in Certified Copy. Through a study of Kiarostami's cinécriture (Varda) our aim is to highlight the film-maker's contribution to the debate on the role of cinema as an art form, on life (authentic) and art (imitation). We will bring to light the varied ways in which Kiarostami subverts classical narrative techniques, plays with truths and lies, and disrupts the boundaries between spectators, actors, film characters and ultimately director. In this game of reflections Kiarostami materialises a vision of life while succeeding in reaching out to the viewer's emotional make-up.

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New Readings — ISSN: 13597485


Published by: Cardiff School of Modern Languages