Stung by Marmoolak
When the film was over I was
a different person
By Mehdi Khazand
Khob... yeki bood, yeki nabood!
I am not sure why
I am writing this. For a while now (a long long time!) I have wanted
to write something like a novel,
like a Ghesseh. And really I never cared if it was a fictional one, or not. I
remember my first attempt at this, when I was a boy of maybe 8 or 9 years of
age. I thought about writing a plot for a videogame (my good old Commodore 64!),
filled with all kinds of sub-plots, and full of adventure in the most magical
places, and... Well that didn't go anywhere, I guess I have always
had ADD, and I guess I blame the TV for that!
Now, as I puff away at my half-burned
Natural-American-Spirit-Light-Filtered-Cigarettes, and listen to my dear Fereydoon
Forooghi (oh God!!!) I have finally gathered the courage or rather enough Energy
to write my... I don't know what to call it. At first I thought I should
write about current
events, or Iranian politics, or... but then I thought that we hear and read
about these all the time.
I am already in a Sooznak mode (thanks Fereydoon
Jaan!), and writing about politics would make me want to kill
myself. But then again
I always think about Iran, and politics, and the suffering of my people,
whether they are Iranians, Sudanese Africans, Arabs, Americans,
Chinese... So I won't write about that, but I guess I already did!
have been feeling extremely depressed, and homesick. I really can't
endure living in America and I can not tolerate
consumerism/hysteria, big trucks,
SUV's, or the new Big Truck/SUV's, George Bush, malls, loud cars
and white kids listening to horrible music
which they think is Hip-Hop (it's not!), Fox News and the diabolic faces
of its anchormen who are the happiest when most hateful, Reality TV, racist
college teachers, Highway 85's pointless carpool lane (hey I love
but nobody uses that lane!), Nike ads, and many others.
You see I have been
in this Kharabshodeh for almost ten years, and haven't been back
to Iran at all. I came here when I was 15 (I left Iran exactly
a week before my 15th
birthday, to escape the old Sarbazi laws of Iran) and now, 25 years old, I
say that I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! I need a trip back to Tehran Pars.
I want to go and have
some Ab Talebi, under the savage sunshine of that polluted Tehran. I want
to see ammeh, and amooz, and their kids; want to see my old friends,
my old schools,
my old house, our grape vines in our Hayat. And I want to go see Khorramshahr,
where I was born. And see Kermanshah, Esfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Tabriz, Mshahd,
Bam, Kashan, and more. Akh Fereydoon jaan, you know what I mean! (digeh del
ba kasi nist... )
Anyways, I will tell you how I came to feel
this way. You see,
weeks ago I went to see Marmoolak, when it
had just opened in San Jose's Camera 3 theatre. I went to the first show,
on the opening day, and was one of the first ticket buyers. The room
was almost empty when my friend and I took our seats, and we worried
would show up. But then we reminded ourselves that Hamvatanan are always
late, as I am all the time, and that surely more people will arrive.
And they did!
In 10 minutes the room was filled, with maybe 10
empty seats remaining in the upper corner section. I was delighted.
Normally I feel a great
sense of anxiety
when I am around my Hamvatanan, and I always feel so self-conscious. However
this time I felt good, or rather better.
film... (damn! I ran out of Forooghi songs, well Dariush
will do, or maybe... Googoosh, I need some Go-Goosh! Thank you so much
Iranian.com!) Khob... koja boodim? Aha, baleh... So the film started,
and everyone went
to that not-so-quiet-Iranian-film-audience mode. And we all laughed, and
laughed, and cried (I did!) and laughed again. I got a bad headache
from so much laughter,
and my jaws were in pain. But I was mentally numb
towards pain, and so I didn't care.
And I think I understood the film
more than most people. I
don't say this to condemn anyone, or to brag about my superiority, but
while most were laughing their butts off, as I did, from all the mullah
jokes, and Namaz references, and while some were making fun of the Turkeh,
absorbing the metaphor of a Dove, and the deeper meaning of the jokes.
And I saw all
those goosheh va kenayeha pointing towards the very fabrics of the Iranian
and what defines our identity as Iranians.
I have never been hateful
of the rohaniat, since I don't consider those ruling the country rohani
And I do
believe that the
revolution... ok I promised there would be no writing about politics!
But I guess that's impossible.
When the film was over I was
a different person. And of course this change is true and normal
so it does not always warrant a
great deal of thinking on the Why's or How's of the transformation
that took place. But this was
different! I can't exactly put into words the ways I felt, and still
feel, but I do know that one result of this change was the feeling
I have seen many great, and not so great Iranian
films, from Abgooshti, to Artistic, from tragic and romantic, to
comedy, and even War films.
never felt the
same as I did after watching this film. For me this was a truly Iranian
film. It smelled like Iran, and it tasted like home. Everything from
the music, the faces, the voices, the Nazri, the slang, the flow
of things, the characters,
the so called flaws (some were not professional actors), and to the
truly beautiful performance of Parviz Parastooi (who to me is
a real Iranian
man, and seems
to be a living library of colloquial Farsi. And that sedayeh garm!!),
The positive vibration of this film was such that
I felt being caressed by a pair of unseen gentle hands (No! not
you may say that it's too late to write a review of this film, since
many have been written, and that you have heard it all. But I am
not a film
critic (chaakereh aghaayeh Noori!), and I don't intend to be one
in the future. All I know is how I feel as a member of the audience,
And as an Irani, my heart is filled with pain, pain
from distance, from the
of familiar faces, from sweet memories of childhood long gone,
and from living in the past. And all this came from a comedy!
goodbye to spam!