Certified Copy 

An intriguing meditation on belief and ideas, set during a tour of Italy

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Many years ago, a teacher said something to me that I've always remembered: "I have many ideas, but very few beliefs." In Certified Copy, the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami plays with this and other notions, all worth cogitating, if you have a mind for that sort of enterprise and this sort of film. (Call it Last Year at Marienbad Lite.) Set in Italy, which we tour as the film unfolds, it's a casually staged, skillfully acted slice-of-life conversation between two people: a British writer (William Shimell) whose new book posits that a copy of a work of art can be just as valuable as the original; and a woman (Juliette Binoche) who's fascinated and "annoyed" by the idea. Her annoyance has mostly do with his determination to "prove the unprovable." And yet, he confesses that he wrote his book to persuade himself, thus engaging in the perilous act of turning ideas into beliefs, which is the basis of all religion. He's also destroyed his ability to appreciate life's experiences because he's too busy thinking about them. Kiarostami's film takes work, but it's intriguing to think that belief can be an act of fraud, and that authenticity, or the perception of it, can be so powerful. And now: Discuss. In French, English and Italian, with subtitles. Starts Fri., April 1. Regent Square



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