Friday, February 17, 2017 CULTURE

Skip Navigation Links
 
link
 
link
SUPPLEMENT

Visitor Login










Rafiq Azad remembered

Cultural Correspondent
 
Distinguished guests hold a collection of poetry of the late poet Rafiq Azad launched at Bangla Academy on Monday.
The Ekushey Padak winning poet Rafiq Azad was remembered on his 75th birth anniversary at a commemorative programme held on Monday at Bangla Academy.
Organised by Rafiq Azad Smrity Parshad, the programme featured discussion, recitation of Azad’s poems, music and launching of a collection of the late poet.
Emeritus professor Rafiqul Islam, Bangla Academy director general Shamsuzzaman Khan, Jatiya Kabita Parishad president Abdus Samad, its general secretary Tariq Sujat, Rafiq Azad’s widow Dilara Hafiz, among others spoke on Rafiq Azad and his poems.
The discussion session was presided over by poet Rabiul Hussain, president of Rafiq Azad Smrity Parshad.
‘I feel proud as famous poet like Rafiq Azad was my student. He had developed a unique language in his poetry and thereby contributed a lot to the contemporary poetry’, Rafiqul Islam said.
Claiming Rafiq Azad as a leading poet of contemporary time, Abdus Samad said, ‘His distinctive style of fusing love and rebellion gave him a permanent place in Bangla literature.’
Following the discussion, a collection of Azad’s poems was published. Titled ‘Rafiq Azad-er Kabita 75’, the book features 75 poems by the late poet.
Rafiq Azad’s famous poems such as Pratikkha, Bhat De Haramjada and Jadi Bhalobasa Pai were recited at the programme.
Tagore singers Mahiuzzaman Moyna and Sutapa Chowdhury rendered popular Rabindra Sangeet titled ‘Ki Gabo Ami Ki Shonabo’ and ‘Andhokarer Utsa Theke’ respectively at the programme.
Rafiq Azad, who has 45 collections of poetry to his credit, died on March 12, 2016 at the age of 74.
Azad’s first book Asombhaber Paye was published in 1973. Some of his popular collections include Shimabaddha Jale Shimita Shabuje, Haturir Niche Jiban, Parikirna Panshala Amar Swadesh, Shahstra Sundar, Khub Beshi Durey Noy, Khama Karo Bahaman Hey Udar Amia Batas, Karo Asrupat, Prem O Biraher Kabita, Pagla Garad Thekay Premikar Chiti, Apar Aranya and Moulabir Man Bhalo Nai.
Azad was also a valiant freedom fighter. He was a member of ‘Kaderia Bahini’ during the liberation war in 1971.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
Distinguished guests hold a collection of poetry of the late poet Rafiq Azad launched at Bangla Academy on Monday.
The Ekushey Padak winning poet Rafiq Azad was remembered on his 75th birth anniversary at a commemorative programme held on Monday at Bangla Academy.
Organised by Rafiq Azad Smrity Parshad, the programme featured discussion, recitation of Azad’s poems, music and launching of a collection of the late poet.
Emeritus professor Rafiqul Islam, Bangla Academy director general Shamsuzzaman Khan, Jatiya Kabita Parishad president Abdus Samad, its general secretary Tariq Sujat, Rafiq Azad’s widow Dilara Hafiz, among others spoke on Rafiq Azad and his poems.
The discussion session was presided over by poet Rabiul Hussain, president of Rafiq Azad Smrity Parshad.
‘I feel proud as famous poet like Rafiq Azad was my student. He had developed a unique language in his poetry and thereby contributed a lot to the contemporary poetry’, Rafiqul Islam said.
Claiming Rafiq Azad as a leading poet of contemporary time, Abdus Samad said, ‘His distinctive style of fusing love and rebellion gave him a permanent place in Bangla literature.’
Following the discussion, a collection of Azad’s poems was published. Titled ‘Rafiq Azad-er Kabita 75’, the book features 75 poems by the late poet.
Rafiq Azad’s famous poems such as Pratikkha, Bhat De Haramjada and Jadi Bhalobasa Pai were recited at the programme.
Tagore singers Mahiuzzaman Moyna and Sutapa Chowdhury rendered popular Rabindra Sangeet titled ‘Ki Gabo Ami Ki Shonabo’ and ‘Andhokarer Utsa Theke’ respectively at the programme.
Rafiq Azad, who has 45 collections of poetry to his credit, died on March 12, 2016 at the age of 74.
Azad’s first book Asombhaber Paye was published in 1973. Some of his popular collections include Shimabaddha Jale Shimita Shabuje, Haturir Niche Jiban, Parikirna Panshala Amar Swadesh, Shahstra Sundar, Khub Beshi Durey Noy, Khama Karo Bahaman Hey Udar Amia Batas, Karo Asrupat, Prem O Biraher Kabita, Pagla Garad Thekay Premikar Chiti, Apar Aranya and Moulabir Man Bhalo Nai.
Azad was also a valiant freedom fighter. He was a member of ‘Kaderia Bahini’ during the liberation war in 1971.

Login to post comments


(0)



EMK Center celebrates spring at DU

Cultural Correspondent
 
Shamiron Baul renders a song in front of arts faculty of Dhaka University on Tuesday.
EMK Center in collaboration with Dhaka University’s dance department welcomed the spring on Tuesday by organising a cultural programme under the banyan tree in front of arts faculty of the university.
The programme titled ‘Friend to Friend: Celebrating Spring and Friendship’ also marked the 45th anniversary of ‘EMK Tree’, a banyan tree which was planted by senator Edward M Kennedy on February 14, 1972 at Dhaka University as a symbol of friendship between the people of the US and Bangladesh.
Dance department students of Dhaka University and artistes of Shurer Dhara presented dance recitals and music at the programme.
Shamiron Baul also rendered songs at the open stage programme.
Dhaka University’s dance department chairperson Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, the American Center director Ann McConnell and EMK Centre director MK Aaref, among others were present at the show.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
Shamiron Baul renders a song in front of arts faculty of Dhaka University on Tuesday.
EMK Center in collaboration with Dhaka University’s dance department welcomed the spring on Tuesday by organising a cultural programme under the banyan tree in front of arts faculty of the university.
The programme titled ‘Friend to Friend: Celebrating Spring and Friendship’ also marked the 45th anniversary of ‘EMK Tree’, a banyan tree which was planted by senator Edward M Kennedy on February 14, 1972 at Dhaka University as a symbol of friendship between the people of the US and Bangladesh.
Dance department students of Dhaka University and artistes of Shurer Dhara presented dance recitals and music at the programme.
Shamiron Baul also rendered songs at the open stage programme.
Dhaka University’s dance department chairperson Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, the American Center director Ann McConnell and EMK Centre director MK Aaref, among others were present at the show.

Login to post comments


(0)



Composer David Axelrod dies at age 83

Cultural Correspondent
 
American composer David Axelrod died February 5 due to complications from a brain aneurysm. He was 85 years old. While never a household name, the Los Angeles-based producer, arranger, musician and composer crafted and inspired some extremely haunting and multifaceted popular music.
 
David Axelrod’s Songs of Innocence
Axelrod will be best remembered for his string of releases on Capitol Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During his time as a staff producer for the label, he composed, arranged and produced the work of a diverse range of artists. But while Axelrod assimilated the best qualities of several musical traditions, there was always something unmistakably his own brought into each recording and composition. Jazz saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Axelrod’s close friend and frequent collaborator, once remarked that Axelrod’s orchestrations tended to have “a layer of violence [within the music] no matter how pretty it is.”
Axelrod’s first three solo efforts—Songs of Innocence (1968), Songs of Experience (1969) and Earth Rot (1970)—stand out for their unusual blend of jazz, rock, funk and soul influences.
Despite the breadth and depth of Axelrod’s catalog, much of his reputation is owed to the music of other producers. In the mid-to-late 1990s hip hop producers rediscovered Axelrod’s work through the sampling of his records, leading to a revival of interest in his efforts.
 
Songs of Experience
Born in 1931 in South Central Los Angeles to a working class family, Axelrod grew up amid the social upheavals occurring in the late 1950s and 60s (Axelrod’s father was apparently involved in left-wing politics). Axelrod was introduced to jazz and R&B at an early age. After a brief stint as a boxer, he began his life as a professional musician, working as a session player while also producing and arranging compositions for other artists. The first album he produced was The Fox (1959) by hard bop saxophonist Harold Land, an album that drew the attention of Adderley, convincing him to seek out Axelrod as a collaborator.
Axelrod’s most fruitful period began in 1963 when he served as A&R man and staff producer for Capitol. In addition to pushing the label to develop and promote its roster of African American artists, Axelrod took an active hand in crafting the sound of the artists in his stable, collaborating with legendary arranger H.B. Barnum on a number of important works. Axelrod wrote and produced several songs and albums for R&B singer Lou Rawls in the late 1960s, including the 1967 hit “Dead End Street,” a song about living in poverty included on Rawls’ Too Much! album.
Axelrod’s loose and lively production on Adderley’s 1966 Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at “The Club” stands out. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy was not actually a “live” concert album. Axelrod brought a small audience into the recording studio, purposefully seeking to incorporate the cheers, clapping and participation of a live crowd into the recording. The result was an energetic effort that would receive a Grammy award for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance in 1967.
 
“Cannonball” and Nat  Adderley, 1966
Axelrod and Adderley worked together on more than a dozen albums. In 1971, Adderley conducted a 38-piece ensemble for Axelrod’s Rock Messiah, a re-interpretation of baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s oratorio.
The composer’s finest material may be found in the period from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, in particular his first three solo works, Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience and Earth Rot. All three are concept albums, the first two works named after and inspired by the works of British poet William Blake (1757-1827).
The title track from Songs of Innocence opens with a startling announcement from the string section before crashing forward in a mix of genre-busting drum and bass work and rich orchestration. The music is full of suspense and surprises. Even today, it feels fresh and different. Songs of Experience explored darker territory, with expansive works similar to those on Innocence existing alongside more melancholy works. “The Human Abstract” is a powerful piece, combining a reflective piano melody with gliding bass and drum accompaniment. These “up” and “down” elements come together and move steadily forward, while never quite shaking the sadness stated again and again by the piano. For Earth Rot, Axelrod mixed hymns and chorale chants “set to the theme of ecology” with jazz fusion compositions. His writing for the choir can be overwrought at times, but the playing of the rhythm section throughout of the four-part “The Warnings” section of the album is particularly memorable.
Working as he did amid the socially turbulent late 1960s, one senses the breaking down of certain musical barriers in Axelrod’s work, from the musical styles and concepts he brought to life to the artists he employed in his work. The session musicians selected for his most moving pieces were second to none. “Wrecking Crew” veterans Carol Kaye (bass guitar) and drummer Earl Palmer provide the essential backbone to many of the composer’s most powerful works.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
American composer David Axelrod died February 5 due to complications from a brain aneurysm. He was 85 years old. While never a household name, the Los Angeles-based producer, arranger, musician and composer crafted and inspired some extremely haunting and multifaceted popular music.
 
David Axelrod’s Songs of Innocence
Axelrod will be best remembered for his string of releases on Capitol Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During his time as a staff producer for the label, he composed, arranged and produced the work of a diverse range of artists. But while Axelrod assimilated the best qualities of several musical traditions, there was always something unmistakably his own brought into each recording and composition. Jazz saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Axelrod’s close friend and frequent collaborator, once remarked that Axelrod’s orchestrations tended to have “a layer of violence [within the music] no matter how pretty it is.”
Axelrod’s first three solo efforts—Songs of Innocence (1968), Songs of Experience (1969) and Earth Rot (1970)—stand out for their unusual blend of jazz, rock, funk and soul influences.
Despite the breadth and depth of Axelrod’s catalog, much of his reputation is owed to the music of other producers. In the mid-to-late 1990s hip hop producers rediscovered Axelrod’s work through the sampling of his records, leading to a revival of interest in his efforts.
 
Songs of Experience
Born in 1931 in South Central Los Angeles to a working class family, Axelrod grew up amid the social upheavals occurring in the late 1950s and 60s (Axelrod’s father was apparently involved in left-wing politics). Axelrod was introduced to jazz and R&B at an early age. After a brief stint as a boxer, he began his life as a professional musician, working as a session player while also producing and arranging compositions for other artists. The first album he produced was The Fox (1959) by hard bop saxophonist Harold Land, an album that drew the attention of Adderley, convincing him to seek out Axelrod as a collaborator.
Axelrod’s most fruitful period began in 1963 when he served as A&R man and staff producer for Capitol. In addition to pushing the label to develop and promote its roster of African American artists, Axelrod took an active hand in crafting the sound of the artists in his stable, collaborating with legendary arranger H.B. Barnum on a number of important works. Axelrod wrote and produced several songs and albums for R&B singer Lou Rawls in the late 1960s, including the 1967 hit “Dead End Street,” a song about living in poverty included on Rawls’ Too Much! album.
Axelrod’s loose and lively production on Adderley’s 1966 Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at “The Club” stands out. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy was not actually a “live” concert album. Axelrod brought a small audience into the recording studio, purposefully seeking to incorporate the cheers, clapping and participation of a live crowd into the recording. The result was an energetic effort that would receive a Grammy award for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance in 1967.
 
“Cannonball” and Nat  Adderley, 1966
Axelrod and Adderley worked together on more than a dozen albums. In 1971, Adderley conducted a 38-piece ensemble for Axelrod’s Rock Messiah, a re-interpretation of baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s oratorio.
The composer’s finest material may be found in the period from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, in particular his first three solo works, Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience and Earth Rot. All three are concept albums, the first two works named after and inspired by the works of British poet William Blake (1757-1827).
The title track from Songs of Innocence opens with a startling announcement from the string section before crashing forward in a mix of genre-busting drum and bass work and rich orchestration. The music is full of suspense and surprises. Even today, it feels fresh and different. Songs of Experience explored darker territory, with expansive works similar to those on Innocence existing alongside more melancholy works. “The Human Abstract” is a powerful piece, combining a reflective piano melody with gliding bass and drum accompaniment. These “up” and “down” elements come together and move steadily forward, while never quite shaking the sadness stated again and again by the piano. For Earth Rot, Axelrod mixed hymns and chorale chants “set to the theme of ecology” with jazz fusion compositions. His writing for the choir can be overwrought at times, but the playing of the rhythm section throughout of the four-part “The Warnings” section of the album is particularly memorable.
Working as he did amid the socially turbulent late 1960s, one senses the breaking down of certain musical barriers in Axelrod’s work, from the musical styles and concepts he brought to life to the artists he employed in his work. The session musicians selected for his most moving pieces were second to none. “Wrecking Crew” veterans Carol Kaye (bass guitar) and drummer Earl Palmer provide the essential backbone to many of the composer’s most powerful works.

Login to post comments


(0)



Asghar Farhadi’s new film Salesman

Cultural Correspondent
 
Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini in The Salesman
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s new film is remarkable and rich, the kind of experience that turn over in mind for days afterwards discovering new facets that reflect new themes or ideas.
Above all, the film affirms the essential humanity of every person—even and especially the “villain”—and exposes the emptiness and absurdity of revenge-taking.
In the midst of a campaign by the American government to whip up bigotry and prejudice against Iranians—as well as war threats against that nation of more than 80 million people—such a film is most welcome.
Emad (Shahab Hosseini) is a schoolteacher in Tehran well-liked by his students. He and his wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) are also performing in a production of Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman. The film alternates between this “play within a play” and life outside the theater, with obvious parallels between them.
When the structural integrity of their apartment building is compromised by nearby construction, Rana and Emad are forced to move into a new apartment. Arriving at the new place, the young couple find the belongings of the previous tenant, a mysterious prostitute.
One night, tragedy strikes. Coming home, Emad discovers that Rana is in the hospital with serious injuries. Believing that it was her husband, Rana had apparently unlocked the door for someone else.
Rana and Emad are both traumatized. A sexual assault of some sort has likely occurred, but its precise nature and severity are unclear. What happened to Rana? Does Rana even know? Emad, like the audience, does not know. He wants to find out.
Much is intentionally left ambiguous about what happened. Ambiguity, Farhadi once told an interviewer, “is important and valuable because it helps the audience to go think about the film after they’re done seeing it and the film doesn’t finish in the audience’s mind.”
Rana and Emad do not trust the police; nobody does. The couple wavers, but ultimately decides not to report the incident to the authorities. People would gossip; too many questions would be asked. The prior tenant’s activities would come to light. Rana would be asked why she unlocked the door for her assailant.
Emad searches for answers on his own, and tension builds. The Salesman ’s climactic scenes are unforgettable, with powerful performances all around. In particular, Rana’s quiet, searching, confused, conflicted, reproachful expression when she discovers what her husband has done is one of the film’s strongest moments.
In many films inflicted on the public nowadays, audiences must be hit over the head and everything spelled out—a product of focus groups and industry consultants who imagine that the lowest common denominator translates into box office success.
In Farhadi’s film, as in real life, things are much more complex and interesting. Human behavior is conditioned by often contradictory pressures, which the individual may or may not be able to fully articulate. Cultural artifacts of earlier periods clash with modern reality. If convention requires it, humans may say the opposite of what they know or think or feel. Meanwhile, we get to know one another, we learn to read each other. The more sensitive eye and ear can detect in others the subtle expressions of what is deeper and more genuine.
Farhadi and his team manage to achieve characters that very nearly come across as real people. “They have to feel like real life,” Farhadi once said of his characters. By the end of The Salesman, we have gotten to know Rana, Emad and others. A mere glimpse of one of their faces suffices to invite us to experience the moment in that person’s shoes, to experience his or her inner conflicts.
The film criticizes the notion that a sexual crime, however traumatic and terrible, must be followed by swift and bloody revenge. Emad carries this reactionary trope to its logical conclusion (or he is carried by it). The perpetrator (masterfully performed by Farid Sajjadi Hosseini) turns out to be, to everyone’s amazement and consternation, a human being too.
When Rana tells Emad, “You are taking revenge,” the audience understands it as a reproach. Right-wing politicians and personalities around the world, who base themselves on howling for the blood of “sexual perverts,” are all dealt a blow.
 
The Salesman
This reviewer has only seen one other Farhadi film—A Separation—but this one left an even stronger impression.
Farhadi paints a complex and credible portrait of urban life in modern Iran, but he is aiming for more universal themes. “This story is not a local story for tourists to peer at from the outside,” he said of A Separation. “I would hope that people from all over the world could relate to these characters.”
“Most of the film takes place inside an apartment,” Farhadi told interviewer Matt Fagerholm, “but once the film has ended, you feel like you’ve seen the whole city.”
That’s not to say that there are not critical observations that might be made. In The Salesman and A Separation, the characters for the most part belong to an urban, generally better-off set. This reflects a definite orientation and outlook.
Farhadi has said that in Iran, “there are two very different classes. The middle class is the largest section of society, and that’s a good thing. The middle class that we see is also a young class. Historically, we’ve never had a middle class, and as such it is a young phenomenon in our society. When I say middle class, I mean it’s a class that’s familiar with modernity, which is grappling with creating harmony between tradition and modernity.” He acknowledges that this class is the primary subject of his films.
On the one hand, here is an artist who recognizes that social being is important. On the other, there is much confusion here. If the middle class is a “good thing,” aspiring to harmonize tradition and modernity, what and where is the working class? Traditional and reactionary, perhaps a “bad thing?” Is the middle class really the “largest section of society,” and how did Farhadi reach that conclusion?
A certain protest against the strangling influence of the religious authorities is strongly felt, and the director has a powerful sense for real tragedy, but beyond that, how deep does Farhadi’s criticism go?
One hastens to remember that Farhadi and his performers are working under difficult conditions. The threat of the intervention of government censors is always present in Iran. Farhadi has described censorship in Iran as like “British weather,” arbitrary and capricious.
But would Farhadi have more to say if the censors would let him speak freely? Would he be satisfied with a secular, reformed, capitalist Iran, in which the middle class were free to enjoy its social privileges? Why is it that Farhadi’s films are permitted by the Iranian regime, while the efforts of other artists are blocked? These questions are worthy of further investigation.

Comment

Cultural Correspondent
 
Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini in The Salesman
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s new film is remarkable and rich, the kind of experience that turn over in mind for days afterwards discovering new facets that reflect new themes or ideas.
Above all, the film affirms the essential humanity of every person—even and especially the “villain”—and exposes the emptiness and absurdity of revenge-taking.
In the midst of a campaign by the American government to whip up bigotry and prejudice against Iranians—as well as war threats against that nation of more than 80 million people—such a film is most welcome.
Emad (Shahab Hosseini) is a schoolteacher in Tehran well-liked by his students. He and his wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) are also performing in a production of Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman. The film alternates between this “play within a play” and life outside the theater, with obvious parallels between them.
When the structural integrity of their apartment building is compromised by nearby construction, Rana and Emad are forced to move into a new apartment. Arriving at the new place, the young couple find the belongings of the previous tenant, a mysterious prostitute.
One night, tragedy strikes. Coming home, Emad discovers that Rana is in the hospital with serious injuries. Believing that it was her husband, Rana had apparently unlocked the door for someone else.
Rana and Emad are both traumatized. A sexual assault of some sort has likely occurred, but its precise nature and severity are unclear. What happened to Rana? Does Rana even know? Emad, like the audience, does not know. He wants to find out.
Much is intentionally left ambiguous about what happened. Ambiguity, Farhadi once told an interviewer, “is important and valuable because it helps the audience to go think about the film after they’re done seeing it and the film doesn’t finish in the audience’s mind.”
Rana and Emad do not trust the police; nobody does. The couple wavers, but ultimately decides not to report the incident to the authorities. People would gossip; too many questions would be asked. The prior tenant’s activities would come to light. Rana would be asked why she unlocked the door for her assailant.
Emad searches for answers on his own, and tension builds. The Salesman ’s climactic scenes are unforgettable, with powerful performances all around. In particular, Rana’s quiet, searching, confused, conflicted, reproachful expression when she discovers what her husband has done is one of the film’s strongest moments.
In many films inflicted on the public nowadays, audiences must be hit over the head and everything spelled out—a product of focus groups and industry consultants who imagine that the lowest common denominator translates into box office success.
In Farhadi’s film, as in real life, things are much more complex and interesting. Human behavior is conditioned by often contradictory pressures, which the individual may or may not be able to fully articulate. Cultural artifacts of earlier periods clash with modern reality. If convention requires it, humans may say the opposite of what they know or think or feel. Meanwhile, we get to know one another, we learn to read each other. The more sensitive eye and ear can detect in others the subtle expressions of what is deeper and more genuine.
Farhadi and his team manage to achieve characters that very nearly come across as real people. “They have to feel like real life,” Farhadi once said of his characters. By the end of The Salesman, we have gotten to know Rana, Emad and others. A mere glimpse of one of their faces suffices to invite us to experience the moment in that person’s shoes, to experience his or her inner conflicts.
The film criticizes the notion that a sexual crime, however traumatic and terrible, must be followed by swift and bloody revenge. Emad carries this reactionary trope to its logical conclusion (or he is carried by it). The perpetrator (masterfully performed by Farid Sajjadi Hosseini) turns out to be, to everyone’s amazement and consternation, a human being too.
When Rana tells Emad, “You are taking revenge,” the audience understands it as a reproach. Right-wing politicians and personalities around the world, who base themselves on howling for the blood of “sexual perverts,” are all dealt a blow.
 
The Salesman
This reviewer has only seen one other Farhadi film—A Separation—but this one left an even stronger impression.
Farhadi paints a complex and credible portrait of urban life in modern Iran, but he is aiming for more universal themes. “This story is not a local story for tourists to peer at from the outside,” he said of A Separation. “I would hope that people from all over the world could relate to these characters.”
“Most of the film takes place inside an apartment,” Farhadi told interviewer Matt Fagerholm, “but once the film has ended, you feel like you’ve seen the whole city.”
That’s not to say that there are not critical observations that might be made. In The Salesman and A Separation, the characters for the most part belong to an urban, generally better-off set. This reflects a definite orientation and outlook.
Farhadi has said that in Iran, “there are two very different classes. The middle class is the largest section of society, and that’s a good thing. The middle class that we see is also a young class. Historically, we’ve never had a middle class, and as such it is a young phenomenon in our society. When I say middle class, I mean it’s a class that’s familiar with modernity, which is grappling with creating harmony between tradition and modernity.” He acknowledges that this class is the primary subject of his films.
On the one hand, here is an artist who recognizes that social being is important. On the other, there is much confusion here. If the middle class is a “good thing,” aspiring to harmonize tradition and modernity, what and where is the working class? Traditional and reactionary, perhaps a “bad thing?” Is the middle class really the “largest section of society,” and how did Farhadi reach that conclusion?
A certain protest against the strangling influence of the religious authorities is strongly felt, and the director has a powerful sense for real tragedy, but beyond that, how deep does Farhadi’s criticism go?
One hastens to remember that Farhadi and his performers are working under difficult conditions. The threat of the intervention of government censors is always present in Iran. Farhadi has described censorship in Iran as like “British weather,” arbitrary and capricious.
But would Farhadi have more to say if the censors would let him speak freely? Would he be satisfied with a secular, reformed, capitalist Iran, in which the middle class were free to enjoy its social privileges? Why is it that Farhadi’s films are permitted by the Iranian regime, while the efforts of other artists are blocked? These questions are worthy of further investigation.

Login to post comments


(0)



METROPOLITAN
EDITORIAL
COMMENTS
INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS
INFOTECH
CULTURE
MISCELLANY
AVIATOUR
LETTERS
LAST WORD
FOUNDING EDITOR: ENAYETULLAH KHAN; EDITOR: SAYED KAMALUDDIN
Contents Copyrighted © by Holiday Publication Limited
Mailing address 30, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh.
Phone 880-2-8170462, 8170463, 8170464 Fax 880-2-9127927 Email holiday@bangla.net
Site Managed By: Southtech Limited
Southtech Limited does not take any responsibility for any news content of this site