The Carriage Driver

Doroshkechi, Iran, 1971

Director Nosrat Karimi’s pre-revolutionary Iranian classic opens on a funeral and ends with a violent conflagration, yet somehow remains deliriously funny every minute all along the way. When a family patriarch dies, a carriage driver sees his chance to finally marry the woman he’s loved since they were children but her son refuses to consider the match until he’s finished mourning. Karimi spins this set up—and all the carriage driver’s plotting to follow—into a wide-ranging satire of social mores, courtship rituals, gender roles and masculine posing that leaves hardly any character unscathed. Digitally restored with new English subtitles, The Carriage Driver recently played at Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy, where programmer Ehsan Koshbahkt declared it not only Karimi’s best film but “one of the finest comedies in the history of Iranian cinema.”

DCP, b&w, in Persian with English subtitles, 115 min. Director: Nosrat Karimi. Writer: Nosrat Karimi. With: Nosrat Karimi, Shahla Riahi, Masoud Asadollahi.

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