Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Open Letter From Iranian Director Bahman Farmanara
The following is an open letter from Iranian director Bahman Farmanara. I have been asked to publish it in my blog. This is a translation from the original Farsi published on June 24, 2009:
Greetings To All My Friends:
I am an Iranian living in Iran and I do believe in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. But nowhere in that constitution is indicated that I should also believe all the official lies. To this day, I have not signed any petition with any of my colleagues or friends because I wanted to be solely responsible for what I say and sign. Hence the following note.
These days we are being invited to a Banquet of Silence; I believe that by attending it we will not only lose our own voice forever but, more importantly, we will bring eternal shame on ourselves by ignoring the bloody death of Neda on the streets of Tehran. I believe in what Shakespeare says in his play Julius Caesar that, "A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never tastes death but once." It is in the hope of freedom and social justice for all Iranians that I take this perilous step.
It is not important if I do not make any more films. But it is paramount that I do not dance to any official tune, because at the age of 68, it is not very honorable.
I am not a hero nor do I aspire to be one and I am not sure how long this feeble body of mine can endure pain in captivity before I sign anything that I am dictated to.
I like to end this note with a quotation from a poem by our esteemed poet Simin Behbahani which ironically was written in 1973, six years before the Islamic Revolution.
"Where Silver rules, Gold becomes God,
Where Lie can be the judge and jury in every case,
Where the air, the air we breathe, the air sustaining life,
becomes the muffling blanket on the voices of hundreds…"
ONE CAN NOT REMAIN SILENT.
I'll live hoping for the day that the sounds of freedom and social justice ring throughout our ancient homeland, and we can sing the hymn "Oh, Iran!" together, with this belief in our heart of hearts that our land is a blessed one.