A Displaced Allegory
The final scene of ‘Through The Olive Trees’ culminates in an extreme long shot in real time in which Hossein follows Tahereh into the distance. She begins to return alone, does she maintain her aloofness, or is he returning to tell the film crew of his success? This final scene exceeds the perspective of the homodiegetic film narrator and thus our own.
Here, the pause of secondary motion in the cameras pursuit functions as a textbook example of a love scene made under the rule of modesty in the Islamic Republic of Iran – and thus a displaced allegory of the conditions of the film industry itself. So contra-Godard, rather than divulge the nature of the conversation between the young couple, Kiarostami reflects on the impossibility of heterosexual love in post-Revolutionary cinema. “Inasmuch as it shows things off, moving images restrict the gaze.” Such is the nature of the voyeurism that informs the structure of classical narratives as well, though we rarely take note of it, “These holes, these moments of failure are what makes for the construction,”