To mark the third anniversary of the death of the renown Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016), his eponymous foundation plans to launch a medical evaluation website where the public can go to score the quality of care they have received from their doctors and local hospitals, the late filmmaker’s son Ahmad Kiarostami has said.

“The website’s name is Afiyat [blessing] and will initially be available on a limited basis,” Mr. Kiarostami said. “Members of the public can share their experiences with doctors, hospitals, clinics, health, and medical services on the website.”

Kiarostami explained: “The aim is to start a public dialogue on how to improve these services on the local and national level. We plan to launch the site on the National Doctors Day [observed on August 23 in Iran, which is also the birthday of Ibn Sina, or Avicenna].”

Abbas Kiarostami was hospitalized in March 2016 and underwent two operations for intestinal bleeding. According to a report by the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education, he had gastrointestinal cancer. He subsequently left Iran in June of that year to receive treatment in Paris but sadly died on July 4. He is buried in Lavasan, 25 miles northeast of Tehran.

Kiarostami’s family filed a malpractice lawsuit against the medical team that treated him at Tehran’s Jam Hospital. Three years on, the family has yet to receive satisfactory answers regarding the medical care and treatment he received before his death.

“The surgeon was fined and barred from performing operations at Tehran’s Jam Hospital for three months,” Hamshahri newspaper reported, citing Kiarostami’s younger son Bahram. “We do not know if the hospital enforced the ruling or not.”

Bahram Kiarostami said that his family had written to Health Minister Saeed Namaki, requesting a copy of the medical examiner’s report. He added that all his efforts to “find the truth have led to dead ends.”

He explained: “There is a file in their archives which includes the opinions of several specialists who tried to find the truth about Abbas Kiarostami’s death. We want the ministry to give us those findings.”

According to Ahmad Kiarostami, French movie production MK2 Films, U.S. movie distributor Janus Films, American home video company Criterion, and the Kiarostami Foundation collaborated for two years to collect, remaster and archive all of his father’s films. The collection includes all of the short films he made before the 1979 Islamic Revolution while working with the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults.

The IFC Center in New York City and Berkeley Film Archive in Northern California will show many of Kiarostami’s films in the coming months. The Kiarostami Foundation and MK2 Films have organized an event in April 2020 at the Pompidou Center in Paris to commemorate Kiarostami and his work. Besides his films, the center will hold a comprehensive exhibition of his paintings, video art, photography works, and poems.

Earlier this year, American video company Criterion released Kiarostami’s final film “24 Frames” in DVD and Blu-ray. The film was completed by the foundation and screened at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Criterion will also release the remastered version of his 1987 “Koker Trilogy” in August.


[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]

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