Mystic Iran: Meaningful, beautiful
March 4, 2004
I met Aryana Farshad in April at a gathering to honor Iran's
much beloved poetess Simin Behbahani. Ms. Farshad told me that she
had produced a documentary called Mystic Iran.
There was not enough time for me to get specific information but
as always I felt proud of her courage to venture into the movie
I exchanged some general e-mails but did not discuss her movie
until last week. The sponsor of Iranian movies in my area called
me and spoke to me at length about the movie. I was thrilled because
the flyer for the movie only gave a one-line description.
I arrived early and spoke to the mostly American guests about
Ms. Farshad and her movie. What I saw was a great surprise for
A revelation. I felt everyone should see this film and the director
should be truly honored for creating such a meaningful and beautiful
The opening scene shows a Zoroastrian Temple with the ever-burning
flame. The music is beautiful. The Declaration of Human Rights
by the ancient Iranian king is read as the historical sites are
splashed on the screen. The few scenes show the modern Iran as
There are unique scenes showing places and functions in this
documentary never seen before.
The few minutes of camera rolling inside the shrine of Masoume
in Qom gives the viewers a glimpse into the world of Shiat Islam
and one of its saints. At the same time it shows the beautiful
architecture and mosaic work.
The images of remote villages with the magnificent background
music makes one feel she is actually present at the scene.
I had seen a short documentary about the Kurdish dervishes when
I was in college but never as complete as it is shown in this film. The
scenes showing the female dervishes are an eye opening experience
and an enlightening one.
The villagers are portrayed as hospitable and welcoming and that
is great because it changes the perception of how women are treated
in some all male circles in Iran.
The ceremonies of Zoroastrians are another great display of the
Old Iranian culture and its rich heritage. I was truly mesmerized
by the scenes, the soundtrack, and the eye pleasing scenes, which
provided profound food for thought.
I have been an elementary student in the school of Sufism since
the age of thirteen. Yet, I was more than overjoyed at discoveries
I made watching the film.
Some Americans approached me once Ms. Farshad left. They had
so many questions. That was a sign that this movie had really invoked
so much interest. They wanted to know about Sufism, the plight
of the Kurds, their language an their traditions.
Of course a few asked whether I was a "Dervish" too? Well,
with my red sexy shoes, bare legs and sheer sweater I was a far
cry from Mahroo Khanoom the female Dervish!
I hope to see this documentary gets the recognition it deserves
and opens the minds to the beautiful and rich mysteries of
a great civilization. >>> See
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