What the director saids about 'Baba Aziz'

Nacer Khemir

Unbounded Desert
Baba Aziz (2005), a Sufi crosses a vast expanse stretching from the Atlantic shores of the Maghreb all the way into Iran. Baba Aziz, Khemir says, was his way of combining both perspectives, Arab and Western. Driven by the desire to relocate his religious heritage in an increasingly hostile world, the film is an attempt to, as it were, "wipe the mud of the face" of Islam: "Suppose you were walking with your father on the street and he fell and got mud on his face. What do you do then? You help him up and wipe the mud off his face." More generally he described his approach as a tip-of-the-iceberg mode of narration: "Narrative, for me, is transcendent. It becomes transcendent through abstraction. It's a kind of Islamic thought, too. When I point to something, I am indicating 10 times that thing, but nine out of 10 parts of the whole remain invisible. A kind of Islamic thought, as I said, and a way of confirming the cultural density my viewpoint..."
I said: After reviewing CINTA I was accidently watched Baba Aziz premier in Kirana (Astro channel). It was Iranian movie which I'm not expecting any surprising element (I used to watch Iranian film for a while). Typical Iranian face, desert as most of its scenary, but beyond my will, I was stunned in front of the television for hours (even though I was rushing to settle a lot of important works-what a magnetic influenced in Iranian cinema, gosh!). For a few minutes contempleted what was actually the director want to tell the audience, with all the simple dialogue and once in a while songs, I learned that this is a story about a sufi journey with his grandchild. Narrated in strange stories, with a lot of accidental roles, with original songs (which in not intentionally added to help the story mood-as been practised by the Hollywood's film maker), Baba Aziz sure has captured my mind, heart and even soul. I always frustrated by the Iranian movies as they were never ever strictly bounded to the common practice (with clean story line), dramatic and the finishing event. But amazingly I was there, without realising that I ever blinked my eyes even once. As the dry heart need to be fertilized, the film sure make me drowned in vast trancendent knowledge of a journey - a true journey. It will be exaggerated to call this film a total success, but it sure does bring something. My friend didn't agree some scenes in the movie, but I believe that the director still a human with teasing character and decide to describe intentionally in strange narration. I succeed to control my tears at the silver screen watching CINTA, but to this, I'm a total looser. I couldn't watched the end of the story, as my duty kept calling me. But the few minutes in the car to the office, I'm sure Baba Aziz will be there for a long while in my mind-it will for sure! (God, give me another chance to actually watch this movie)


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