Mr. Badii is driving, slowly and deliberately, all around the Iranian countryside. He's looking for a man to help him just throw 10 spadefuls of dirt. Not a spoiler since it's in the movie description, but Mr. Badii dug a hole under a cherry tree, and he plans to commit suicide there. He only needs someone to come by and check to make sure he's dead, then fill the hole. He's very matter-of-fact, and sure that it's such a simple task that he'll have no problem finding someone to do it. He starts by pitching it as a chance to make a lot of money for a small job, but when he is turned down over and over again, he ends up just begging people to help him. He never talks about why he wants to commit suicide, but the general subject is discussed throughout the entire film. Various facets of suicide belief range from fear, to religion, to understanding.
The beautiful long shots through the window of Mr. Baldii's truck as he winds through the dusty Tehran landscape turn the location into the main character. Mr. Badii doesn't give much information about himself or his story. His personality does not give anything away, it's even and pragmatic. He has even features, and a calm demeanor. We don't even find out his first name. Although he is in the film from the first minute to the last, it is not about him. It's about the people who come in contact with him and how they feel about suicide.
It's hard to discuss the ending without giving away key points or surprises, so I'll just tell you how it made me feel. There are essentially two parts to the ending. The first brought up a lot of emotions - sadness, hope, chill, loneliness, wonder. Honestly, it could have just ended there - and I would have thought about it for weeks. However, because of the sensitive subject and how film boards like to operate, there must be more in this case. The second part of the ending was crass, loud, jarring, and unsatisfying. Still, I thought about it for weeks.
"A Taste of Cherry" is available on Netflix DVD as all fine foreign films are.