Directed by Abbas Kiarostami, starring Behzad Dourani.

To unravel the deepest mysteries in the simplest things... that is the quest that drives Iranian Abbas Kiarostami's latest film. Winner of the 1999 jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, 'The Wind Will Carry Us' is a study of life, its rituals and milestones, its monotony and wonder. A visitor from Tehran (Dourani) arrives in the Kurdistan village of Siaf Dareh with a group of colleagues. The women assume that he is a telecommunications engineer while a youngster thinks that he is a treasure hunter (in many ways he is), but neither theory explains the stranger's fascination with a 100-year-old villager who is on her deathbed.

Unlike the majority of today's offerings, 'The Wind Will Carry Us' is a film that forces you to think and breathe for yourself. In a bid to make you 'unlearn' what cinema is all about, Kiarostami uses locals instead of actors, turns the plot into a beautiful sketch and, most importantly, eschews narrative convention in his search for lasting experience. The results are both startling and life-affirming: escape your expectations and you discover a world of treasures and truths hidden high in the plains.

It is a film that works whether it is watching the urban/rural divide, gently questioning the nature of human interaction or taking a brightly coloured snapshot of our beginnings and endings. And no matter where you look, you will find moments which restore your faith in a film's ability to live beyond a screen: Behzad's philosophical discussion with the local doctor during a motorbike ride, his beautiful encounter with a young woman masked by shadows in an underground shed or his regular chats with a man digging a hole who we never see. Kiarostami is that rare breed of magician and genius, his film is not a must see but a must live.

Harry Guerin