Where Is the Friend's Home?

Where Is the Friend's Home? (Persian: خانه دوست کجاست‎, Khane-ye dust kojast) is a 1987 Iranian drama film directed and written by Abbas Kiarostami.[1] The title derived from a poem by Sohrab Sepehri, it is considered the first installment in Kiarostami's Koker trilogy, followed by Life, and Nothing More... and Through the Olive Trees, all of which take place in Koker, Iran.[2]

Where Is the Friend's Home?
Where Is the Friends Home.jpg
Film poster
Directed byAbbas Kiarostami
Written byAbbas Kiarostami
Produced byAli Reza Zarrin
StarringBabak Ahmadpour
Ahmad Ahmadpour
CinematographyFarhad Saba
Edited byAbbas Kiarostami
Release date
  • February 1987 (1987-02) (Fajr)
Running time
83 minutes

The film tells a deceptively simple account of a conscientious schoolboy's quest to return his friend's notebook in a neighboring village, since, should his friend fail to hand it in the next day, it is likely he will get expelled. Hence this film has been seen as a metaphor for the sense of civil duty, about loyalty and everyday heroics. The traditional beliefs of Iranian rural people are also depicted.

The film is among the top ten in the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.[3]


As the film opens Ahmed (Babek Ahmadpour), a grade schooler, watches as his teacher (Kheda Barech Defai) berates a fellow student, Mohammed Reza, for repeatedly failing to use his notebook for his homework, threatening expulsion on the next offense. When Ahmed returns home, he realizes he's accidentally taken Mohammed Reza's notebook. Against his mother's orders, he sets out in search for Mohammed Reza's house, encountering false leads, dead ends, and distractions as he attempts to enlist adults in his search. When he is unable to find his friend's home, Ahmed ends up doing the homework for his friend at night; in the next day the homework is deemed excellent by the teacher.


  • Babek Ahmedpour as Ahmad
  • (Unknown) as Mohamed Reza Nematzadeh
  • Kheda Barech Defai as the Teacher
  • Iran Outari as Mother
  • Ayat Ansari as Father
  • Sadika Tohidi as the Persian Neighbour
  • Biman Mouafi as Ali, a neighbour
  • Ali Jamali as Grandfather's Friend
  • Aziz Babai as the Waiter
  • Nader Gholami as the Property Owner
  • Akbar Moradi as the Old Man from Azerbaijan
  • Teba Solimani as the Husband
  • Mohammad Reza Parvaneh as the Man Mistaken for Ali
  • Farahanka Brothers as the Young Boy
  • Maria Chdjari as the Girl who Stutters
  • Hamdollah Askarpour as the Old Man
  • Kadiret Kaoiyenpour as the Religious Old Man
  • Hajar Farazpour as the Apple Seller
  • Mohammad Hossein Rouhi as the Carpenter
  • Rafia Difai as Grandfather
  • Agakhan Karadach Khani as the Street Vendor


It won the Bronze Leopard at the 1989 Locarno Film Festival.[4] It also won the Golden Plate at the Fajr Film Festival.


Where Is The Friend's Home? was Kiarostami's first film to gain major international attention. The film's title has sometimes been translated as Where Is My Friend's House?[2]

Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi said that "I always have this film in mind because of the director's profound perspective on filmmaking and its strange and distinct structure."[4]

The Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa cited Where is the Friend's Home? as one of his favorite films.[5][6]

Jonathan Rosenbaum in 2015 called Kiarostami the greatest living filmmaker and called the film (along with Through the Olive Trees and Life and Nothing More) "sustained meditations on singular landscapes and the way ordinary people live in them; obsessional quests that take on the contours of parables; concentrated inquiries that raise more questions than they answer; and comic as well as cosmic poems about dealing with personal and impersonal disaster. They're about making discoveries and cherishing what's in the world--including things that we can't understand."[7]


  1. ^ Mike Lorefice (2006). "Where Is the Friend's Home, Iran - 1987". metalasylum.com. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
  2. ^ a b "Where is My Friend's House? (1987)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "BFI's 50 films you should see by the age of 14". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  4. ^ a b "Where is the Friend's Home?". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  5. ^ Lee Thomas-Mason. "From Stanley Kubrick to Martin Scorsese: Akira Kurosawa once named his top 100 favourite films of all time". Far Out. Far Out Magazine. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Akira Kurosawa's Top 100 Movies!". Archived from the original on 27 March 2010.
  7. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Where Is My Friend's House?". Chicago Reader. Retrieved February 23, 2015.

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