Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine (2001)



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

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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 or may not include his own funeral. Farjami's new production, which requires him to research the nuts and bolts of burial practices, at once forces him to come to terms with his mortality and leads him to yet another conflict with the authorities determined to prevent his self-expression. Farjami also encounters a woman who shares with him a terrible secret -- and unwittingly implicates him in her wrongdoings. Booye Kafoor, Atre Yas is Farmanara's first film since Saiehaieh Bolan De Bad in 1979. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
NR (adult situations)
Art House & International , Documentary , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
The New Yorker Films


Critic Reviews for Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (14)

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

Full Review… | April 25, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 8, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 6, 2001
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 24, 2001
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 1, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Boasts rich texture, sly vision and rueful humor.

May 31, 2001
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine


Funny that a film/story so focused on death is actually about life and the small joys it brings. Initially, it felt like Farmanara was being overly self-indulgent in his storytelling (and casting himself as lead), but now I see how it could be difficult finding anyone else to fill that role.

Manisha Devi
Manisha Devi

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