Reasons to visit Koker

Reasons to visit Koker

Where is Koker?

Koker is a mud-brick village in Rostam Abad, Rudbar County, Guilan Province, Iran. Koker is not a tourist city, nor does it have any monumental or historical tourist attraction. An ordinary mountainous village at the foot of Alborz Mountain Range like Koker has no attraction for travelers or tourists. In other words, no one go to Koker for a one-day tour or a vacation either solo or with friends or family.

But, one of out of millions does so. Abbas Kiarostami. While travelers go to Masuleh, a popular terraced-stepped village in Guilan, Kiarostami chose Koker. Selecting this small village for shooting his film clearly shows his singularity and uniqueness in seeing the world with a different frame. Heavily influenced by Shorab Sepehri, Kiarostami attempts to practice his poetic worldview in magical world of cinema. Which he did and was highly successful.

Where Is the Friend’s Home?

Kiarostami made his film, Where Is the Friend’s Home? Or in Persian Khane-ye dust kojast? in Koker in 1987. A film revolves around Ahmad who looks for Mohamed Reza Nematzadeh to return his notebook he mistakenly picked up at school due to the exact similarity. He spends the entire afternoon to prevent another embarrassing situation at school for him. Read the detailed summary of Where Is the Friend’s Home? in here.

Reasons to visit Koker  - Where Is the Friend's Home?
Where is the Friends’ Home? 1987

Life, and Nothing More

After the devastating 1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake, killing over 37,000 people, Kiarostami once more return to Koker to acquire about his film characters. And in doing so, he made another film out of Koker named Life, and Nothing More…(in Persian Zendegi va digar hich) in 1992. A film director and his son go on a trip to Koker to find Ahmad and Mohamed Reza Nematzadeh who played in Where Is the Friend’s Home? In the earthquake-stricken area. Click to read the detailed summary of Life, and Nothing More.

Reasons to visit Koker -Life, and Nothing More
Life, an Nothing More…1992
Through the Olive Trees

And last but not least, Through the Olive Trees (in Persian Zir-e Derakhtan-e Zeytun) in the earthquake-ravaged Koker in 1994. In this self-referential film, Kiarostami focuses on the real love story behind the two characters of his previous film, Life, and Nothing More…, Tahereh and Hossein. Click to read the full summary of Through the Olive Trees.

Reasons to visit Koker -Through the Olive Trees
Through The Olive Trees 1994

Koker may has not colossal architecture like Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan or the mesmerizing beauty of Historic city of Yazd, yet it has it own poetic beauty which bestowed on it by Kiarostami’s camera. Kiarostami captures a historic moment out of it and takes us to a long inner journey where touches every human being. You can grasp similar feeling in Koker Trilogy Tour.

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Iran Film Tourism

Iran film tourism! Is it possible?

Living without cinema and film is futile! I have been pondering on the topic of tourism and its link to cinema for a quite a long time, but I couldn’t find any. At first, I though to make a film on tourism, which after some calculation, I found it costly. Then the idea of arranging a meeting between the film locations and film crew came to my mind. I asked some of my friends, however, since they have to idea about cinema, they were unable to help me out! Shoot!

Film Tourism in the world

That’s when the google stepped in! I surfed the net and came across hundred pages of movie-themed tour, film-themed tour, and film tour in different parts of mother earth. I got excited, but it didn’t last long. No block-buster movies were made in Iran, nor great filmmaker or cinema auteur chose part of Iran as her film locations after Iranian Revolution. Asghar Farhadi, who won the Best Foreign Language Film Award twice, has no specific or detectable film location. I mean you can’t put your finger on a certain spot and claims that the shooting was here. The viewers might be able to feel the spirit of Tehran in Farhadi’s movies; yet one cannot locate it. Farhadi thought and style have been dominating and imitating the Iranian cinema over the last decade. So, I had to go back in time to spot what I had on my mine. And that’s where Abbas Kiarostami popped in. yeah! It is him I have been seeking for.

Film tourism Koker Trilogy of Abbas Kiarostami
Where Is the Friend’s Home?

Film Tourism in Iran

Abbas Kiarostami, the poetic image maker, was fond of road film. Bang! I have the road. It is the first connection to Travel. His characters are discoverers! Bang! Travelers love to discover new things. And above all, the films have specific film locations, for instance, Koker Trilogy. So, I got the main thread and I could develop it into a bigger idea.

Click here to read Koker Trip.

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