Gabbeh, the 1996 film, is a simple tale of a gipsy girl, her clan and the way their life goes on.
Unfolding beautifully just like an artist painting a canvas, Gabbeh quietly touches the grand questions.
What is the purpose of existence, what is this feeling of love, what makes colours so harmonious, so arresting?
The complexities, the insatiable desires, the mind games, what helps and what hinders, how do we know?
What is to be said, heard and done before death?
The film weaves a beautiful pattern of such thoughts, but subtly, charmingly that one gets truly absorbed in the flow of the story and does not feel staggered or burdened at all.
The story is exceptionally close to reality even though the style of its narration is truly poetic. It is simple and complex, romantic and mystifying, colourful and rough, complete and incomplete.
Presenting life from a woman’s point of view, talking about the role of a woman in a family, sharing her aspirations and wishes with us, the entire story thus, inherently is full of warmth, colour and calmness, making the love palpable for the viewer.
The best way to describe Gabbeh would be to call it a dream. It is a folk tale, a myth and yet an unembellished raw saga; hazy, vibrant, unreal and real at the same time.
Gabbeh is an experience, a dream that you must see one day.
Written and Directed by – Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Gabbeh – Shaghayeh Djodat, Music by – Hossein Alizadeh, Cinematography – Mahmoud Kalari, Edited by – Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Language – Persian.
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil
Stone steps lead up to a place I am yet to see. Dealing with the quietness interrupted intermittently by sweet songs of the birds, I continue ahead. My mind usher some unwanted thoughts and force me to dwell on and on and on, until I refuse, pause and take a deep breath. Don’t inquire for I don’t know why I am smiling, but I am and it has opened the collection of happy memories. Beaming face feels like being in an ocean of flowers. I start knitting happy thoughts with the golden thread of dreams and everything seems possible, the world is mine. A castle is constructed, my reign flourishes in seconds and in seconds I see my downfall. When I gather the broken pieces and stand up, I see the stone steps staring at me. No dialogues are exchanged, and I continue ahead.
When I wake up, I don’t think much of this dream. I am already late to rush into my monotonous routine. The running time never bargains while I always find a reason to bargain, but I haven’t cracked a deal even once.
The whole day I critique myself, like a ritual, except when the dream hushes me-the-perfect and me-the-kind takes over.
It was blurry… but I remember it clearly. Old hands like my mother’s but she wasn’t my mother, then why do I see her? The place is cold and that is how I feel until I look at her, I feel cold and wet as if I didn’t run away from that day’s hard rain. Everything around was cold and wet that day and so was it in my dream. That day when I was strolling in the park I saw a black sparrow… Francis said he would rather be a black sparrow than fight in the war. I saw the black sparrow, and I left the park.
She is sitting on a wheel chair, she is wearing black. Today, when I picked up the burnt paper, I crushed it without knowing why; my hands can still feel the smooth blackness. But she was surrounded by a harsh blackness, she was in the sun, but everything was crude and dull. I hate myself for crushing the burnt paper, I can feel the crude blackness now.
Francis collected stones all the time, he had strange hobbies. Stones he said are beautiful unless we give them a shape. The old lady, someone’s mother, had an image in her eyes; a dull face as if sculpted, and I agreed with Francis that it looked utterly dead. It scares me every time I see the dream.
I am there to help you old lady. Who is it that you are holding in your eyes? What are you whispering? I can’t hear you? She isn’t looking at me Francis, she is looking somewhere else. Francis I can’t see you. I can’t see the black sparrow. I am tied to the dream. I see her eyes Francis… her eyes… there is fear in her eyes.
A roguish year, 2020, I believe was a twist in our LIVE story. Terrible, oh, terrible things happened. Let us nurture hope, let us learn from our mistakes, let us help each other and contribute honestly to this change.
Let the old charm of stories work, let stories heal your tired heart.
This colossal twist proves that the great writer is planning to finish a chapter, but the story is far from over. Dawn is about to break, the sun rays will fall on a new beginning soon.
Come to Chiming Stories, pocket old and new posts and watch, along with me, the horizon.
Yes fly! For walking on the second track is dull and usual, but dreaming high, high, high requires tools. Tools like the right pair of shoes, a chirpy, gritty soul that eats butter-jam dreams, a soul that drinks milky-milky creams.