By Gonul Donmez-Colin
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Additional resources for Cinemas of the Other: A Personal Journey with Film-makers from the Middle East and Central Asia
For instance, in The Travellers, you use mystical allegory. In fact, this film seems to incorporate most of your stylistic and thematic preoccupations – the veiled identity of women, passages of time, mysticism – while focusing on the themes of death and predestination. The mirror is one of the recurring tropes. Could you explain the significance of the mirror people bring to the house in The Travellers? In Bashu, when villagers gather at Na’i’s house to protest the presence of Bashu, the mirror is brought in.
The film presents the woman as the stronger character and not the man, which is another break-up of the traditional family as perceived particularly in this part of the world. Yes. At the end of the film, they have a new family. The man who has lost his hand in the war, the boy who lost his family in the war, and the woman who, I think, is like the goddess of fertility, Anahita, from ancient Persia who makes the family. The character of Na’i is based on her. That is why she is brought back to life ritualistically.
My understanding of a feature film is the importance of the creative process and the element of fantasy. During the last couple of years, Iranian cinema has been shifting from children films that the West finally got tired of to films about women. The most recent trend, according to what we have witnessed as foreign guests at the Fajr Film Festival, seems to be the problems of the young generation, crime, drugs, etc. What do you think about this movement? How realistic is what is shown? There is a fashion to make films about women, and women film-makers also explore these subjects.
Cinemas of the Other: A Personal Journey with Film-makers from the Middle East and Central Asia by Gonul Donmez-Colin