Last night, we went to watch the movie, Half Moon, directed by Bahman Ghobadi. I be honest with you, I am not really into arty farty films, with excruciating long boring scenes that no one really understands but pretends to understand. I remember I felt like the little boy at the Emperor's New Clothes when I was watching the award winning Iranian movie, Taste of Cherries. "What a load of boring crap that was" I remember was my candid comment to those who were pretending they had enjoyed the film while struggling to hide their yawns.
Half Moon, however is nothing like that. It will be amongst the best movies I have ever seen. Half Moon, is about the common struggle of all Iranians to preserve their joyous culture. Something that the intellectuals in the West just never understood or probably think of as "bourgeois nonsense". Ghobadi illustrates some of the hardship of what Iranians have to go through for what people in most other places take for granted, such as the baffling stupidity of why women can not sing in the Islamic Republic.
"So she sings, how is that a crime?" The old man who is leading his sons to perform a big concert says to the Islamic Republic Law Enforcement Officer without getting a worthwhile reply.
There are some magnificent scenes in the movie. Such as when Mamo enters the forbidden village where women singers are held, and 1344 women perform the Daf in their colourful dresses.
The film is about a people who are struggling to keep their joyous culture and as such the movie can not just be a sad and depressing one. In fact it is full of unique humour and despite all that happens, its unique humour remains a central part of the movie.
Some are hesitant to take part in the journey, some give up half way and turn back, some die, but at the end an incredibly beautiful woman who remains a mystery shows them the way and saves the day. Again another symbolic piece for the belief that the saviour of Iran will be the women of Iran.
The film is full of symbolic scenes such as when a woman's voice at a burial makes the dead person come alive again. I suppose this can be interpreted in many ways by different people, but for me it was the reawakening of men who had been denied life in its full by excluding the many pleasures of life that exist.
I can write more and more about the scenes, but let me not spoil it for you and just recommend you to see the film if you can.
great post at arash e kamangir. you should post/link to it
Again another symbolic piece for the belief that the saviour of Iran will be the women of Iran.
Interesting insight :)
Off topic: I don't what we can do about this:
A new so-called Iran expert writing for Juan cole's new blog. Her name is Farideh Farhi:
Azarmehr, I'd like to speak with you about making a guest or perhaps long term posting on our blog. The blog is a PR6 and is in the technorati top 100.
I don't know how to get a hold of you, so send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiarostami and many film makers from Iran have a unique voice in cinema, you might be better off watching Spiderman!
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