Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Cinematic Anthem

This is really invigorating to an Iranian because some of Iran's most popular filmmakers sing one of the most poignant national anthems (pre-rev) on an Eisensteinian montage of some of the most iconic images of Iran's popular films! What better device to unite a nation than through image and sound, and Persia's modern-day poetry: Cinema?

I wonder what effects it has on non-Iranians. I'd love to hear your take, please.


Anonymous said...

I think it was performed in 1943 - we were occupied because we were weak.

[No I do not care about WWII etc. It was not our war.]

pen Name

Pedestrian said...

I have always dreamed of the day when this beautiful piece will become our national anthem (unless there's something even better written by then!)

Although this is certainly no logical reasoning, to me, just the fact that a government would choose this as their anthem would mean that they have outgrown the bigotry and tyranny that has always required the rulers' names/affiliations to be placed inside the lyrics of our national song. It would signify that we have outgrown that era.

Like I said, I make up these things in my own head, but that's the way I see it ...

nunya said...

Hmm. I can understand how it would inspire a strong sense of pride in Iran. I don't understand the language so all I have to go on is the music. I hear a mixture of old musical instruments and new ones. A mixture of old vocal styles and new ones.

Farsi is much easier on the nerves than Arabic or Hebrew :) Thank you for posting it :)

Anonymous said...

nunya said...

Umm, sweetie?

It's a bit off topic, but I'd love to hear your opinion on this article:

Iran to US: 'It's a culture thing'

By Shahir Shahidsaless

here's the blurb about the author:

"Shahir Shahidsaless is a Canadian-Iranian political analyst writing mainly in Farsi. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, and has devoted the past 10 years predominantly to researching and writing about the Middle East and international affairs for Farsi-speaking magazines, papers and news websites both inside and outside the country. He has authored a book, which has been published in Iran and Germany."

Naj said...

Nunya: the topic raised by Shahir is somewhat what Rick Steve was suggesting in his documentary.

But Shahir's analysis is what we call in Iran "abaki" (watery), i.e. superficial!

The opposition to "American cultural invasion" or cultural hegemony is not unique to Iran; it is in fact on the top of the agenda of any country who is culturally protectionist.

American culture, at least the part that is exported abroad-is a facile one; it's like the fast food, it has lots of empty calories. Iranians have no opposition to adopting American models of market, education, technology, military, or even "imperialism." However, there is a religious resistance, and a traditional resistance to allowing American pop culture in: american pop culture is the symbol of moral decay: sex and violence.

That is the stereotype!

Just as the stereotype of Iranians in America is religious fanatics!

However, the problem between Iran and the Us is not a cultural one; it is a geopolitical one! Iran NEEDS to chant down with USA to distinguish itself from the rest of puppet muslim regimes on the world. It needs to articulate its identity, and be unambiguous about it that: We are an independent country!

What keeps being forgotten is that at the beginning of revoloution, the slogan was:

Down with US, Down with USSR, Down with England!! Down with Israel came later. Down with USSR and England completely dropped from slogans!

So as you see, these things are political not ideological, nor cultural.

The thing about Iranians is this: they are practical and pragmatic--irrespective of their slogans! But, it is ESSENTIAL to use the right language with them.

nunya said...

Thank you Naj,

I appreciate your taking the time to read it. Hilariously enough, about ten minutes after I asked for your opinion on this article (I like Asia Times articles) a salesman called and tried to sell me the Los Angeles Times. I think "abaki" would be would be an improvement over most of the LA Times articles and Op-Eds, lol. I played cat-and-mouse with the salesman until I firmly said to him "The LA Times coverage is so pro-Israel that it's disgusting, but that is LA, I understand that." That was the end of that game, lol.

"Just as the stereotype of Iranians in America is religious fanatics!"Ahhh, useful stereotype when blowing off steam because of anger at something the Iranian government has done, but usually counterproductive and unrealistic.

"abaki" Heh, I like that :)

"The thing about Iranians is this: they are practical and pragmatic--irrespective of their slogans! But, it is ESSENTIAL to use the right language with them."Honey? Doesn't some stuff get confused (some would say intentionally, and what comes to mind there is the translation brouhaha of "Israel wiped off the map") during translation?

Especially when governments are slanting the translation for their own people?

Speaking of Israel, did you see this?
"From The Times UK May 15, 2009
Leon Panetta's mission to stop Israel bombing Iranian nuclear plant"
(Panetta is the new CIA director)

betmo said...

thought you might enjoy this :)

Gail said...

Hi aj-

from suburban America I felt many, many emotions. I found it haunting, prideful, determined, painful, happy, desperate,purposeful, good music and lovely voices, frightening and collective - as in a bond or loyalty


thepoetryman said...

I am speechless... Well almost.

What an incredibly edited film! I was rapt from beginning to end.

What a tour de force of Iranian cinema, joy, frivolity, wit, laughter, tears, and strength!

I do not know the actors, the people or any of the films shown, but I can tell you that after watching this video I will definitely explore them all.

Thank you, Naj. What a beautiful way to show the humanity within her borders.


(My muse needed to witness this. I am certain that in the next few days she will put my fingers and mind to a poem inspired by this post.)

Anonymous said...

تاریخچه سرود ای ایران

زمانی که نیروهای انگلیسی و دیگر متفقین تهران را اشغال کرده بودند، «حسین گل گلاب» تصنیف سرای معروف، از یکی از خیابان های معروف شهر می گذرد.

او مشاهده می کند که بین یک سرباز انگلیسی و یک افسر ایرانی بگو مگو می شود و سرباز انگلیسی، کشیده محکمی در گوش افسر ایرانی می نوازد. گل گلاب پس از دیدنِ این صحنه، با چشمان اشک آلود به استودیوی «روح الله خالقی» (موسیقی دان) می رود و شروع به گریه می کند.

«غلامحسین بنان» می پرسد ماجرا چیست؟ او ماجرا را تعریف می کند و می گوید:
«کار ما به اینجا رسیده که سرباز اجنبی توی گوش نظامی ایرانی بزند!» سپس کاغذ و قلم را بر می دارد و با همان حال، می سراید:
ای ایران ای مرز پرگهر
ای خاکت سرچشمه ی هنر
دور از تو اندیشه بدان
پاینده مانی و جاودان
دشمن! ار تو سنگ خاره ای من آهنم
جان من فدای خاک پاک میهنم...

همانجا، خالقی موسیقی آن را می نویسد و بنان نیز آن را می خواند و ظرف یک هفته، تصنیف «ای ایران» در یک ارکستر بزرگ اجرا می شود.