In 1997, the delegates of Fajr Film Festival, a major film festival in Tehran, Iran, witnessed a sublime cinematic moment when Ali, an Iranian boy, raced in a footrace for the third place. Even though the winner got two weeks in a summer camp and other perks, he was determined to finish third, as the third prize would earn him a new pair of sneakers. Ali wanted them badly for his little sister, Zahra.

The movie, Children of heaven, and the director, Majid Majidi went on to places with Ali and Zahra and, Majidi has been elated as one the contemporary masters of World Cinema through movies like Baran, Children Of Heaven, The Color Of Paradise, and The Song Of Sparrows.

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In this face to face conversation with Press TV, Majidi explains the roots of his latest film, Muhammad – The Messenger of God and about his filmmaking process in general. He hints at the various controversies surrounding the depiction of Prophet Muhammed, especially in the West, and explains how such incidents worked as a trigger with him for an artistic urge to come up with the movie.

Majidi points out how he channelized the suppressed reactions in the Islamic world against recent developments in International politics, and presented it through his subtle, poetic, spiritual and realistic filmmaking approach, to show the gracious side of Islam to the critics. Majidi explains the criteria upon which he gathers the crew and what impact their cultural and professional backgrounds attribute to the overall output.

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He emphasizes on upholding the identity of the movie regardless of its cast, crew, setting, and budget. The conversation reveals Majidi’s interlinked political, religious and aesthetic framework that constitute the soul of his movies. Faith, God, Religion, Censorship, a rich spiritual and poetic tradition, and a deep awareness of human existence constitute Majidi’s body of work.

Written By: Ragesh Dipu

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