Friday, June 11, 2010
#45:Taste of Cherry
“I understand how difficulty you have comprehending the last scene of this movie. I sympathize with you. But this has been deliberate on my part. In "Taste of Cherry” I have tried to keep a distance between my spectator and the protagonist. I didn’t want spectators emotionally involved in this film. In this film, I tell you very little about Mr. Badie, I tell you very little about what his life is about, why he wanted to commit suicide, what his story is I didn’t want the spectators get engaged in those aspects of his life. For that purpose I had to keep Mr. Badie away from the audience. So he is a distant actor in a way. First I thought to end the movie at the point when he laid down on his grave but later I changed my mind. I was uncomfortable to end it at that point because I was very concerned, and am always concerned, about my spectators. I do not want to take them hostage. I do not want to take their emotions hostage. It is very easy for a flim-maker to control the emotions of spectators but I do not like that. I do not want to see my audience as innocent children whose emotions are easily manipulable.
I was afraid that if I ended the movie where Mr. Badie laid down on his grave the spectator would be left with a great deal of sadness. Even though I didn’t think the scene was really that sad, I was afraid that it would come out as such. For that reason I decided to have the next episode where we have the camera running as Mr. Badie was walking around. I wanted to remind spectators that this was really a film and that they shouldn’t think about this as a reality. They should not become involved emotionally. This is much like some of our grandmothers who told us stories, some with happy and some with sad endings. But they always at the end would have a Persian saying which went like this "but after all it is just a story! . . . The very last episode reminds me of the continuation of life, that life goes on, and here the audience is confronted with the reality they had hoped that Mr. Badie would be alive and there he is a part of nature and nature still continues and life goes on even without Mr. Badie. And if one could really think about being or not being present in life, or if one thinks about it in terms of the real implication of such presence, one might not in fact engage in committing suicide at all. The person committing suicide might think that s/he is taking revenge from the society, nature, life, powers to be, and so on. But s/he don’t realize that after a suicide life still goes on and things stay the way they are. I could interpret this in a different way. If my audience is as creative as I imagine them to be, they can take this in a variety of interpretations and I can sit here and every time make a different interpretation of it, as every time one can creatively reinterpret the reality. "