Abbas Kiarostami's films - Close-Up, Life and Nothing More, Through the Olive Trees, Taste of Cherry (winner of the 1997 Palme d'Or at Cannes), and Ten - have taken their place alongside the masterworks of world cinema. Yet Kiarostami, the most influential filmmaker of post-revolutionary Iran, has produced a body of work that is as rooted in contemporary Iran as it is universal in appeal. Respected cinema historian Alberto Elena has used Iranian sources wherever possible and sought to frame Kiarostami's oeuvre within the context of the rich artistic and intellectual Persian tradition that has nourished the director. He examines his blending of fiction and reality, and his recurring themes of death, meaning in life, isolation, solidarity and the lives of women. Kiarostami's career, from his early days as an illustrator and graphic designer to his current master-status, is also explored - his adverts, short films, documentaries and features, as well as his collaborations, influences and critical reception both in Iran and internationally. The creative boldness of Kiarostami's work is matched by a structural precision that is virtually unparalleled in modern-day cinema.Elena's retrospective shows exactly how this most Iranian of directors has also come to assume a place in the pantheon of international cinema.