Madani Classic will introduce us to creations from bygone years and draw us to a reflection of how our existence and today’s Islamic cultures compare to those in the past.
This programme will screen 2 films; a feature film from Africa and a short film from West Asia. The former, Beirutu al Lika by Borhane Alaouie from Lebanon, will finally have its screening with us after a year of delay. This 1981 film, translates to The Beirut Encounter, told of a once-lush city that’s been destroyed and torn apart, and the two close friends, Haydar and Zeyna, who fought their way to each other in the wake of a civil war. The said war had drawn a geographical line that divided Muslim and Christian communities, and had torn families apart in attempts of survival. The contrast between the communities was represented not by the character’s ambiguous religious portrayal, but through the many disparities hinted by their surroundings.
Khaneh Siah Ast, or The House is Black, delivers a complexity within less than 30 minutes of its running time. It’s an assembly of poems by female poets and its director, Forugh Farrokhzad, as well as a documentary of a leper colony’s quarantine story. This film invites us to contemplate on the beauty and the squalor of the world, as well as the gratitude and formidability we might wield against pains and perils. Documenting a community with a certain medical condition might be treated differently in this time and age, but in 1963 when this film was created, the technology and its dissemination was far from what we know of today. This posed a challenge, but Khaneh siah ast turned it into an advantage and created this essay film with the accompaniment of the reading of holy passages and poetries. This film was nearly without direct dialogue in an attempt to connect the audience through mere facial expressions, gestures, whispers, and writings.
These two films to be screened in Madani Classic brought different takes of lived experiences. We believe they will spark the spirit to celebrate diversity across spiritual expressions, cultures, and languages.