Bab'Aziz - The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul is the story of a blind dervish named Bab'Aziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great ... See full summary »
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Bab'Aziz - The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul is the story of a blind dervish named Bab'Aziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every thirty years. With faith as their only guide, the two journey for days through the expansive, barren landscape. To keep Ishtar entertained, Bab'Aziz relays the ancient tale of a prince who relinquished his realm in order to remain next to a small pool in the desert, staring into its depths while contemplating his soul. As the tale of the prince unfolds, the two encounter other travelers with stories of their own--including Osman, who longs for the beautiful woman he met at the bottom of a well, and Zaid, who searches for the ravishing young woman who fled from him after being seduced by his songs. A fairytale-like story of longing and belonging, filmed in the enchanting and ever-shifting sandscapes of Tunisia and Iran. Written by
There are as many paths to God as there are souls on Earth....
"Bab'Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul" is a magical retelling of a Sufi mysticism; the mystical side of Islam, the time-honored concept of oneness with God, the peace and harmony with the universe. Bab'Aziz (Parviz Shahinkhou)is a very old blind dervish who hit the desert for a dervish reunion that is held once in every thirty years. A sort of a Sufi congregation where dancing ,singing, reciting poetry are all performed in a dhikr-like meditation and ecstasy to realize a sense of oneness with God, to reach the Creator. Ostensibly, his only accompanier is his high-spirited but patient granddaughter Ishtar(Maryam Hamid) who enjoys the mystic tales of the dervishes which somehow intersect with the tales of those who are on the desert for the same reunion.Bab'Aziz tells the story of a titular prince who goes missing one day.The fastidious prince who enjoys himself with the worldly-deeds follow a little gazelle that happens to be near his palatial tent. After he is gone missing, his loyal subjects look for him only to find him to be enraptured by apparently his own reflection in the pool but his loyal server knows that there is more to it than meets the eye. En route to the congregation they meet others whose stories are mystically interwoven with the tale of the old dervish. A young man who is on the desert to avenge a brother who was killed by a red-haired dervish(Hossein Panahi)whose only concern is to 'sweep with his soul, before his beloved's door', Osman(Mohamed Graïaa) who years for the beautiful Zahra who mystically meets in a palatial well, Zaid(Nessim Khaloul)who looks for the enchanting woman (Golshifteh Farahani) who is bewitched by his poems at a poetry contest but fled away from him to find her long-lost dervish father...
Dedicated to the father of the director Nacer Khemir, the movie is a subtle on-portrayal of Muslims in a hostile,gradually increasing Islamophobic world. In an interview in Al-Ahram Weekly,Nacer Khemir says "Suppose you were walking with your father on the street and he fell and got mud on his face. What do you do then? You help him up and wipe the mud off his face." The mud--the wrongly attained image of Islam due to those guys who take wows of violence with their guns is trying to be clarified by a man who could say "When I became an orphan I understood that I was at the center of a whirlpool, that I would never know comfort. I felt it was necessary to start expressing that..."
Teemed with vivid desert imagery, thought-provoking and enchanting remarks by self-less dervishes,Bab'Aziz is definitely not a movie for a layman. If you don't like a journey which will take you literally nowhere but mystically everywhere the movie won't be making much sense for you. If you have never read anything about sufi poets like Rumi let alone the possibility that you may never heard of him, then this movie won't be an easy one for you to relate to, because Sufism,in a way, is ripped away from rationality. I mean what would you say to a granddaughter who says "we've lost the way" on the desert. Bab'aziz says "He who has faith will never get lost, my little angel.He who is at peace won't lose his way." That's I mean about the "rationality" in Sufism.So if you really want to watch this movie get ready for the mystical journey that will become obscure if you lose your faith,concentration and attention!
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