Naser Malek Motiei, Iran’s iconic cinema actor succumbed to a slew of illnesses on Friday, May 26th 2018. His death, sealed another harrowing chapter of Iran’s film and art industry, entangled with stiff restrictions imposed by the Ayatollahs.
Naser Malek Motiei’s career abruptly ended after the fruition of 1979 revolution. During a raucous inquest by a cleric, he was commanded to write a detailed confession of his iniquities. He snapped back yelling, “I can’t write anything. You treat us like murderers.” The clergyman shouted: “You are nothing less than a murderer.” Naser Malek Motiei accompanied by a scrum of artists and former colleagues, stepped out. He returned a few minutes later with red puffy eyes.
Emblematic of his movies, he cried silently in seclusion. During a recent interview, he iterated that he was tormented for not acting the last 40 years. “I can’t fight my destiny,” he said, scrambling to hold his tear.
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Naser Malek Motiei was one of the few legendary actors from 60s and 70s. He often played the role of a beloved gang leader, who ruled with iron fist while displaying tremendous amount of grace and tenderness. His role was the manifesto of Persian culture.
If any of his gang members stepped out of boundries., he quickly intervened to protect the underdog. In his interaction with ladies, he played the piquant role of a chivalrous master. He often bowed to the plea of women, who urged him to stop a retaliatory action.
The bitter sweet saga of his distinguished career is a pristine metaphor for the journey of Iranians from the proud phase of social freedom, international prestige and booming economy to the darkened era of oppression and humiliation by the Islamist clerics.
His glory echoed the majesty of Iran in mid 20th century. His anguish resonated the tenacious yearning for the golden era of freedom and ingenuity. His legacy will be forever cherished.
Rest in Peace.