Sen's daily

July 6, 2013

Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s oeuvre honored at Jerusalem Film Festival

BBC Persian service, July 6, 2013

The Iranian film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf is being honored as a special guest at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 4 – 13. A number of his films will be shown, including “The Gardener,” which is about the Bahai Faith and was shot largely in the Bahai Gardens in Haifa and Akka. The Gardener (Persian: باغبان Baghban) is a poetic documentary film that Mohsen Makhmalbaf co-directed with his son Maysam Makhmalbaf. It is about an Iranian filmmaker and his son who travel to Israel to learn about the role of religion in the world. While the son goes out to the Wailing Wall, the Golden Mosque and Christian sites, the father stays at the Baha’i gardens to learn about a faith that came out of his own country – Iran. While the film is an exploration of the Baha’i Faith, it is also the story of two generations of Iranians debating the positive and negative aspects of religions. Makhmalbaf argues that it is very important for the world to have religion since it is such a powerful force, while his son disagrees, pointing to examples of the corruption of religion. The film is similar to Gabbeh and The Silence in style. At the Beirut International Film Festival in 2012, the The Gardener won the Gold Aleph for best documentary, and Times of India placed it in the top 10 filems of 2012 at the Mumbai International Film Festival.

According to one report, Makhmalbaf made this film in Israel “just to provoke the fundamentalist elements in my country.” [But truth to tell: if you want to address the question of religion in modern life, where better than in Israel? ~ Sen]

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1 Comment »

  1. Thank you, Sen, for this heartening news. It is very moving.
    Howard Garey

    Comment by Howrd Garey — July 7, 2013 @ 01:07 | Reply

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