Art And Culture

Darvish’s ‘al-Qurban’ Opens Baghdad Film Festival

Darvish’s ‘al-Qurban’ Opens Baghdad Film FestivalDarvish’s ‘al-Qurban’ Opens Baghdad Film Festival

Ahmad-Reza Darvish’s ‘al-Qurban’ (also known as ‘Hussein Who Said No’) opened the 7th edition of the Baghdad International Film Festival (BIFF) on Thursday.

Its first international premiere, the film was screened on the eve of Eid Ghadeer, a highly revered celebration of Shia Muslims on the appointment of Imam Ali (AS) by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as his successor, ISNA reported.

Over 1000 people including artists, cineastes, ambassadors and foreign guests of the festival were present at the Iraqi National Theater in Baghdad to see the film.

Darvish’s two-hour movie is a historical religious epic production about the uprising of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of Shia Muslims, against the Umayyad dynasty in 680 AD.

Prior to the screening, Taghi Aligholizadeh, producer, and Darvish were applauded by the audience. Shouts of “labbaik ya Hussain” (literally, I am under your command, oh, Hussein) were heard several times as the film unraveled, and the scene of the martyrdom of Hazrat Abolfazl Abbas, Imam Hussein’s half-brother, saw many bursting into tears.

Al-Arabiya TV channel interviewed Darvish before the screening and the director answered people’s questions after the show.  

The film’s Arabic version was shown in Baghdad. It is also dubbed in English and French.

Premiered at the 32nd Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran in February 2014, it was nominated in 11 categories and won eight Crystal Simorghs in the International Section of the festival.

The music is composed by the English composer Stephen Warbeck who won an Academy Award for his score for ‘Shakespeare in Love’ in 1998. The film is edited by Tariq Anwar, an Indian-born US based film editor, who has two Oscar nominations for ‘American Beauty’ in 1999 and ‘The King’s Speech’ in 2011.

Hassan Pourshirazi, Babak Hamidian, Farhad Ghaemian, Pouria Poursorkh, Arash Aasefi, Bahador Zamani and actors from Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq and the US are cast in the big-budget film.

   Other Films

‘Tragedy’ by Azita Mogouee and ‘The Fish and I’ by Babak Hibibifar are two other Iranian films taking part in Competition Section at the event.

A total of 84 films from 40 countries are competing in the official competition sections. The festival wraps up on October 5.

Established in 2005, BIFF supports new cinema in Iraq - a cinema for multiculturalism with a focus on the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and justice.

It provides a platform with an intercultural forum bringing together young practitioners and professionals from different countries, cultures and ethnicities. The competition program is supplemented by workshops, exhibitions and discussions.