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A revelation
Mystic Iran: Meaningful, beautiful documentary

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 industry.

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 me. A revelation. I felt everyone should see this film and the director should be truly honored for creating such a meaningful and beautiful documentary.

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 well.

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

.................... Peef Paff spam!

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By Azam Nemati




Book of the day

House of Sand and Fog
Novel about a former colonel in the Iranian military living in San Francisco
By Andre Dubus III

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