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Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-4193
  • E-ISSN: 1751-4207



Abbas Kiarostami’s cinema has been described as a cinema of ‘evidence’ (Nancy), ‘delay and uncertainty’ (Mulvey), ‘ellipsis and omission’ (Saeed-Vafa and Rosenbaum) and “displaced allegories’ (Mottahedeh). This article suggests that by applying a new and interdisciplinary interpretation of ‘silence’ as an umbrella term, the variety of these readings will converge into a cohesive system and result in a better understanding and appreciation of the oeuvre of this Iranian auteur. The focus of this article is mainly on the auditory configurations of silence and their performative functions and possible ideological implications. One of the conclusions of this research is that in these present absences we not only ‘hear things because we cannot see everything’ (Žižek), but we are provided with a forced freedom to find and perceive experiences through silences that otherwise would be hardly imaginable. Also, in addition to the role of the audio-viewer/interpreter, silence will be regarded as the main vehicle of representing a poetic and philosophical Weltanschauung that seeks ‘to be without being’ and ‘present without showing’. This is a cinema of silence, indeed, in which silence acts as a space for (re)birth of philosophical questions (Chion, Nancy), aesthetic emphases, and ‘witnessing and passing’ as an inevitable option.


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