Panaji: Cinema has different meaning for different persons. For me Cinema is love and responsibility towards society and not business, says Mohsen Makhmalbaf, one of the creators of new wave cinema in Iran. Interacting with the press at 45th IFFI here yesterday he said that he loves India for its culture, diversity of ideas, philosophies and Gandhi’s idea of non-violence. He loves Indian audience for the way they comment, share and discuss cinema.
Talking about his cinematic journey, he shared that as a child he could not watch cinema because of religious views of his grandmother. She used to tell him that those watching cinema are cursed to go to hell. He was arrested for political reasons and was in jail for five years. He suffered bullet injuries and underwent three surgeries. Getting access to books after six months in jail, he read about 2000 books in four years of imprisonment. Initially influenced by revolutionary ideas of Che Guevara, he came to appreciate ideas of non-violence as preached by Mahatma Gandhi.
When released after the Iranian revolution of 1979, he watched his first movie at the age of 22. Cinema’s impact on him was like a blind suddenly awakening to visibility and he decided to use this power of medium to serve the people.
There are two ways dealing with dictators- killing and thinking. Killing the dictator does not solve the problem as it kills individual but not the dictatorial tendencies. But thinking has the potential to change the mindset of people and help these tendencies. Most of his films are about power and democracy, he added. The first film he made for masses chained in religious believes.
He said that his family has five film makers, three are women and two men are in minority. His wife MarziehMeshkinihas directed ‘The Day I Became a Woman’ (RooziKeZanShodam) which is being screened at the IFFI. The film is on the status of Iranian women.
Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.