Thursday, February 14, 2013

7 Blind Female Filmmakers

There is No Dead End!

At the beginning of February 2013, in the 42nd International FilmFestival Rotterdam Fat Shaker received Hivos Tiger Awards for (Larzanandye Charbi) by Mohammad Shirvani, the Iranian film director and educator. I had never seen any films by Shirvani until last week.

Last Thursday, in a stormy blizzard night, I went to Northwestern University to watch “7 Blind Female Filmmakers”; a documentary andautobiographical film made by seven Iranian blind female filmmakers, all Shirvani’s students: Sarah Parto “Talking to the Wall”, Shokoofeh Davarnejad “Death of the Witness”, Mahdis Elahi “”Burning Fire”, Narges Haghighat “Path of Death”, Banafshe Ahmadi “Last night Notes”, Naghmeh Afiat “Good Night”, Neda Haghighat “Love”.  The last episode was withdrawn from the whole film because the filmmaker had touched the subject of homosexuality.

In Spring 2004, Mohammad Shirvani decided to answer an old question in his mind - What should I do if I, as a film director, would become sightless? I was wondering if I could keep filmmaking. This film has been made by a number of blind women filmmakers to answer that question. I taught them how to narrate their own stories through language of cinema and by small digital cameras and they also taught me how to see the world with my third eye on my forehead. The result of such experience is a feature episodic documentary: 7 Blind Female Filmmakers.”

The film starts with this line: In the memory of light”, then in silence we read these words: “One day, I opened my eyes, but saw nothing. Absolute darkness! Nothing! I could only hear a vague sound taking form little by little. It was the fast beating of my heart. I got up and went to the door, bumped into the wall and fell onto the ground. I’d gone blind! What if I’ll be blind? Forever?”

Read a review in Persian language.

I was totally fascinated by the tremendous humanity and strength among Iranians living in today’s Iran. I see a dawn of a humanistic and cultural rebirth, a new renaissance in all aspects, intellectual and artistic.
This film needs a special recognition. It needs to be shown all over the world to learn how to overcome  “impossibilities”. I listened with them. I heard them. I touched with them. I loved with them. I cried with them. And I learned from them. These women proved that they are capable of conquering impossibilities.

Read an interview in Persian
And another interview...

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