Art And Culture

Long-Forgotten But Revered

Long-Forgotten But ReveredLong-Forgotten But Revered

Veteran cinema, theater and TV actress Farimah Farjami was honored by the production staff of the play ‘A Season for Hunting Kites’ at a ceremony in Tehran City Theater on July 16.

The main hall of the theater is hosting the one-actor play directed by Jalal Tehrani, since July 13. In a bid to pay tributes to her life-long professional career, the Thursday night performance was dedicated to Farjami, ISNA reported.

Veteran actor and instructor Amin Tarokh recalling memories of the time when he first met Farjami some 40 years ago, said: “Although she had all the attributes for acting, she never tried to win a role based on her natural beauty.”

Tarokh who was cast with Farjami in Masud Kimiai’s ‘The Lead’ (1988) and the late Ali Hatami’s celebrated film ‘Mother’ (1991) compared her with world renowned actresses Sophia Loren and Ingrid Bergman. “Besides her good looks, her artistic traits made her everlasting in Iran cinema.”

When she was cast in ‘The Lead’, the Islamic Republic was in its infancy and the Iran-Iraq war was into more than seven years. Not many actresses dared to take different roles at that time. She had the best chance to become the queen of Iranian cinema; however, she chose not to do so, Tarokh said. For her role in ‘The Lead’ she shaved her head as she believed that “beauty is not important”.

Tarokh noted that Iran cinema is in debt to Farjami “as it did not provide her with suitable opportunities” to make use of her outstanding talent. Although it is too late now to speak about such issues, “it gives us some relief to offer her an apology as she has been modest enough not to complain during the years of inattention and unkindness toward her.”

The main hall of City Theater was packed with fans for the play; however, absence of young, middle-aged and even veteran actors was seemingly disturbing for Tarokh, who rued such an attitude toward the actress. “Apparently, tonight no one has eagerly come to see Farjami. Respecting our veteran artists is a necessity as everyone gets old one day. This should be taken into account and we need to value our seniors.”

Farjami merely sufficed with a terse remark, “I have done my work lovingly and it is my honor to be with you tonight.”

  Great Honor

Parisa Moghtadi, head of City Theater Complex, presented Farjami a commendation plaque. “Standing next to the great lady of Iran cinema and theater is a great honor for me which I will not forget till the end of my life. The ceremony is the least we could do in her honor.”

Born in Tehran, Farimah Farjami, 63, graduated in dramatic literature from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University of Tehran in 1977. She took to the stage in 1976 and began playing in films in 1980.

Her performances in the roles of “wandering and wavering young or middle age women who struggle with psychological and personal problems” were admired by film critics, and won awards for ‘The Lead’, ‘The Last Act’ (1990, Varouj Karim-Masihi), and Nargess (1992, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad) at the International Fajr Film Festival.

For the last 15 years she has not been cast in any movies or plays due to ill health. Although age-related health problems exist for many of her peers, some even older than her, however, several of them are still acting in small roles. But unfortunately, Farjami has long been forgotten.