As authored and helmed by Bahman Farmanara, the melancholic, downbeat Iranian chamber drama A Little Kiss (AKA Yek Bous E-Bouchouloo, 2006) observes the reunion and blossoming friendship of two lost souls during their final days. Jamshid Mashajekli is Shebli, a belletrist who remained in Iran to become a national celebrity, but who now contemplates suicide in the shadow of impending lung cancer. Reza Kianian is Sa'adi - also a writer, but one who drew public scorn in Iran by unapologetically moving to Geneva for decades and completely neglecting his native land. Sa'adi suffers from encroaching dementia - a catalyst for his return to Persia, which he is direly afraid of forgetting. A tragedy also looms in his past, in the form of his son's suicide - which drove an emotional wedge in between Sa'adi and his wife and daughter and sparked years of writer's block. As the story opens, Sa'adi turns up on Shebli's doorstep, and the men spend time at Shebli's apartment jointly exploring and expressing deep-seated pain and resentment. Circumstances brighten when they subsequently leave the building and embark on a lively trip into the Iranian countryside, visiting a series of Persian landmarks. Yet death looms ever closer, as symbolized both by a female wraith-like figure who turns up repeatedly, and by the men's destination: the grave of Sa'adi's son.
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