Abbas Kiarostami engages in innovation by omission. He forces the viewer to participate in the completion of the film in several ways. In [i]The Taste of Cherry[/i]we don't know why the protagonist wants to attempt suicide or if he succeeds. Then Kiarostami adds an epilogue that forces one to reconsider the whole film yet again. His is a participatory cinema. He is also quite interested in gray areas where fiction and documentary cinema meet uneasily. For instance, [i]Through the Olive Trees[/i] increasingly becomes a film about two of the actors hired to appear in the film and their class differences.
Mr. Kiarostami invites controversy with his experimental, open-ended filmmaking and somewhat outrageous statements such as: "I don't like to arouse the viewer. I don't like when filmmakers take the viewer hostage. I prefer films that put the audience to sleep in the theatre. It's kind of a film to allow you a nice nap" and "Censorship doesn't affect my work". His work generates lively discussion.