Bahman Ghobadi at a press conference at the San SebastiÃ¡n Film Festival 2006
September 2, 1968 |
Baneh, Kurdistan province, Iran
|Education||Iran Broadcasting University|
|Occupation||Director, Producer, Writer|
I'm free – but I'm also not free because there are millions of young people living in Iran. A filmmaker can only do a little.
I had seen some films made about the underground music world in Tehran, and most of them were short documentaries about 30 or 40 minutes long. And I always wondered why they weren't publicized more. Really, their only flaw was they were short documentaries.
I used to believe that people are only born once, but now I feel I have been reborn, like I was given a new life. I see myself as a child, full of energy and hope.
For me, it's better to live without looking over your shoulder, worrying about who is controlling your phone, maybe poisoning your food.
In my view, the adults are the burnt generation of Iraq for whom nothing can be done. But for the children, we can worry now, we can talk about them, we can plan for them, we can get our protest heard by others.
In Kurdistan, there's a lot of hardship – a lot of wars, a lot of bitter and difficult lifestyles. And witnessing all those made me a director.
It feels very, very good to make a film freely, to work without having to wait years for script approval, without looking over your shoulder.
I am really bothered when I see my friends facing problems back in Iran, but I tell them that not all the doors are shut.
I had no education in filmmaking. I started with a 8mm camera. I made 34 films, and little by little I gained more experience in filming.
I went to underground music studios. In the studios, I learned that you can make a movie without a permit.
I'm very much interested in music specifically and wanted to make a film about it, but not in an atmosphere of censorship.
When you want to make a film abroad, you need producers and people who support you. You need a team that speaks your language.
I can travel with music. I close my eyes, and I can travel all over the world with music. And one after another, stories come to me, and I just record them.
I use humour a lot. My foundation is tragic, but my appearance is humorous.
Lying and corruption are in the Iranian society in all sense of the world, and if you do research about married women, you see that a lot of them tell you they get a lot of enjoyment from breaking the rules of corruption, because just for the fact that they break the rules, it makes them oppose the system.
If I hadn't turned out to be a filmmaker, I would have been a musician.
I love music, I make films with music, I eat with music, I sleep with music, I think with music. Music makes me dream; it strengthens my creativity.
I often ask myself, 'Why is it that most of the lies come out of Islamic countries, and why is it that most of the social corruptions are in the Middle East and in these Islamic countries?' The answer is, when you control something, when you suppress something, people try to do it another way.
In Iranian cinema, all the lying takes place before making the film. In order to be able to make the film, you have to lie.
I didn't have the welfare. I didn't have the proper education. I didn't have these things. That's why it's almost like a complex in me that I want to explode myself in my films.
Actually, the only thing I regret is not making more underground films and bringing them with me as historical documents.
I always loved music, and I always wanted to make a film about it, but I could never do it because of the censorship that was around.