20th January 2011 is 21st anniversary of Hayedeh‘s tragic death in exile. She was only 47 and losing her was a shock for her nation.
More than two decades after the legendary Persian diva’s demise, we can look at her story from various points of view.Since finishing my documentary about Hayedeh I have been so curious to know what is the reaction of non-Persians toward her voice and life story. One of the best ways was ‘media’.
Fortunately up to now, two non-Persian media have reacted. First in Hebrew, Haaretz, the leftist Israeli newspaper. Noam Ben-Zeev who is a music professor at Haifa University wrote a review about the documentary and Hayedeh’s works. Prof. Ben-Zeev wrote: “Archival film footages show the process along which Hayedeh turned from classical music to pop. She is shown singing accompanied by piano, drums, and guitar, with pop rhythms and at the San Remo Festival. The pop music sweeping the country then was the fashion…”
Another article was published in Dutch Magazine Elsevier. The author is the Persian-Dutch law Professor Afshin Ellian, who is known as a hardliner and controversial anti-Islam writer in Holland. He belives: “in the documentary you see the women of Persia in 1941 were just as modern as the rest of the world. But now, decades later, they have been thrown back into darker times. This is what Islam does to a culture, to a people. So don’t tell me islam is good for women. Don’t tell me islam is a normal religion. Islam is a disaster, a tsunami that destroys different opinions and different cultures.”
Ellian adds: “The religion that does not want to hear this divine voice, these divine lyrics, [like the song “Shanehayat”] does not belong in the world of freedom and civilisation.”
Anyway I have collected all reviews in one page. Hayedeh’s song and life were not just something related to her or music. They are representating our cultural and social situation in 1970s and 1980s.I will try more to introduce her voice and story through my documentary to non-Persians. Here in The Netherlands I have been in various events dedicated to Umm Kulthum. Why such events should not be organized for our Hayedeh and Persian music? It depends to us.
In the meantime I have started to work on a new documentary. I hope to be abale to finish that in 2011. It’s about the 400 years historical relations between Persia and Holland and the situation of Iranian community in The Netherlands since 17th century till now! A challenging project which needs in-depth research, enough time and money. In absence of an interested government or community what should I do?! “Khodaa Bozorgeh!” 🙂