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Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine (2001)

tomatometer

70

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 13

Hitting upon universal themes, this meditation on death is both poignant and wryly humorous.

57

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 6

Hitting upon universal themes, this meditation on death is both poignant and wryly humorous.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 460

My Rating

Movie Info

Iranian filmmaker Bahman Farmanara wrote, directed, and stars in this autobiographical drama of an artist reaching beyond the limits of censorship. Farjami (Farmanara) is a movie director living in Iran who has not been permitted to make a picture since the Post-Revolutionary Censor Board came into effect two decades earlier. Suffering from a serious cardiac condition, Farjami is convinced he does not have long to live, so he makes plans for one final project -- a film on burial rites, which may

Sep 21, 2004

The New Yorker Films

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (13) | DVD (3)

Somber and haunting with an undertow of mordant wit, Mr. Farmanara's comeback finds its morning in life and nature.

April 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The slow-moving film fails to capture the depth and intensity of what it means to battle political censure and depression.

November 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The director's obsession with death sometimes seems overwrought and self-flagellating.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Our comeback tale should end on a classic note of resounding triumph. Should -- but doesn't.

August 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A feat of droll, refractive, melodramatic self-portraiture.

June 1, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Boasts rich texture, sly vision and rueful humor.

May 31, 2001
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By turns accomplished and clunky -- part of which is probably the result of its obviously tiny budget -- but it's never less than fascinating.

April 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Farmanara's artistic vision is hit-or-miss and his material hangs together rather slackly

September 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

An engrossing look at a whiny artist in modern Iran trying to deal with censorship.

July 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A bitter but funny examination of the problems of life in a society in which a man cannot do his job.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

On its own modest terms it's an interesting effort, but not a particularly compelling one.

April 30, 2002 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine is not for all tastes, and patient viewers stand the best chance of receiving its rewards, which are, after all, worthwhile.

April 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

By turns funny, moving and surreal, the film is difficult to classify -- with its personal content and screwball comedy, it just might be Iran's answer to Woody Allen.

August 27, 2001 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY
eye WEEKLY

Works on a grand scale and in an most intimate way.

August 24, 2001
Jam! Movies

Communicates, with great clarity and precision, the specific dilemma of Farmanara's own 'futile' existence: the quiet horror of the artist who is denied the aching personal need and basic human right of self-expression.

July 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

It's possible to see the crudely assembled Smell as a plodding movie about a dour guy, but I prefer a more subversive take.

July 12, 2001 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Numerous original touches characterize this recent Iranian export.

June 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Wonderfully bitter as it is wonderfully witty.

June 18, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Yet another of the spare, forthright and altogether engaging films to emerge from Iran.

June 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Bahman Farmanara triumphantly reclaims his own soul with Smell of Camphor -- and it's been well worth the wait.

June 1, 2001
Reel.com

An accomplished portrait of a life's final curtain.

June 1, 2001 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

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