Like the greatest novels, or paintings, or pieces of music, Kiarostami's films have an intellectual weight, an emotional intensity and a truthfulness that give them almost an intimidating quality. Rigorous, but lively, austere, but not ascetic, his films are both of the world and apart from it, accepting of what is beautiful in life and critical of everything false and cruel. The experience of Taste of Cherry does not end when one exits the cinema, as is the case with the majority of films, even many so-called art films. The work continues to inspire thoughts and feelings, to challenge one intellectually and morally, for days, perhaps forever. This is the sort of film that changes people.
-- David Walsh
Taste of Cherry (1997).