Last night I attended a Farsi movie screening called the Final Word, a film about a great Iranian Poet Ahmad Shamlou, directed by Moslem Mansouri. The event was organized by “Kanoon-e Andishe” and “Honar Shoray-e Poshtibani az Mobarezat-e Mardom dar Iran.”

Moslem Mansouri is a renowned film director, one of the founders of “underground cinema” in Iran as well as an old and dear friend. I attended the event with my father in order to watch the film and show our support for Mr. Mansouri.

This was advertised as a cultural event, not a political event, it was supposed to be a night about Ahmad Shamlou, however things did not turn out that way.

The host of this event Hossein Afsahi started the program with a long winded political speech which was not planned, announced or advertised in any way. Afsahi who I understand is a film director and a writer was extremely disrespectful and ignorant in his speech and managed to insult the Lion and Sun Flag, Monarchists and all Iranians who believe in the Lion and Sun Flag without believing in monarchy or any other political organization.

He referred to the Lion and Sun Flag as the “Monarchist Flag” which only goes to show his ignorance and intolerance against the Flag and those who believe in it. At the end of his speech my father wanted to ask him a question, however he would not allow for any questions and indicated that tonight was about “Shamlou.” Perhaps he should have remembered that BEFORE his 20 minutes long speech. My father left the event, after which another gentleman suggested to the host that perhaps he should not be making political speeches at a cultural event if he was not willing to answer any questions.

At that point I left the event as well, because for me at that point there was no difference between event and anything the Islamic Regime might have organized in Toronto. IT is disturbing to see even so called activists like Afsahi have such strong dictatorial tendencies and I am certainly glad people like him do not have any power. If this is what they do when they have no power I can only imagine what they would do if they had any power.

Unfortunately both the organizers of the event and Mr. Mansouri were not present during this dispute and were not able to stop it, although I have no doubt they would have, had they been present.

I am extremely disappointed that I did not get the chance to watch this movie which I had heard so much about. I am also disappointed to see an individual who was speaking about tolerance for each other would not allow for a simple question to be asked.

Down with the Islamic Regime
Long Live Freedom in Iran

1 Comment:

  1. Sohrab Ferdows said...
    Dear Sayeh,

    I have no idea what the movie about Mr. Shamlou would show of him but despite a lot of noise to make Shamlou bigger than he really was, near the end of his life, he proved to be very opportunistic and shallow by making ridiculous statements about Cyrus the Great and Shahnameh and Ferdowsi himself. I personally would not waste any time to watch such movies and I am sure many of those who became "die hard" fans of Mr. Shamlou after that, were inspired by his stance and comments against Iranian national heritages in culture and history. I used to like Mr. Shamlou's poems since the time he was not very well known in Iran but I firmly believe that he was portrayed much bigger than he really was as an artist. Apparently the hype around him was as fashionable at that time as making stupid remarks about national identity and heritage of Iranian people today, by some of Mr. Shamlou's fans.

    Regards,
    Sohrab Ferdows

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