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Radmila Djurica

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Strong, powerful and brave (Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijon )

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Into a great respect to a

Into a great respect to a Gijon International Film Festival, who celebrated 50th Anniversary this year we had special guests and homage and great film program; Iranian film director Amir Naderi, from the Iranian cinema with retrospective of his main films. Also a Slovak film director Juraj Jakubisko with his unhinge poetry behind the ordinary without forgetting his roots. A man who draws (scribble) one picture per day over the dinner table; (Its truth I sat next to him at the VIP dinner table). I am sure everyone remembers his film Bathory from a few years back. Then for further on to celebrate this anniversary Spanish casting agent living in LA Luis San Narciso (Mieres, 1959) the most famous casting director in Spain. Art director at Globomedia Producing Company has also been responsible for casting the actors for such films as By My Side Again (Gracia Querejeta, 1999), The Sea Inside (Alejandro Amenábar, 2004), Volver (Pedro Almodóvar, 2006) or The Counselor (Ridley Scott, 2012). Gijon International Film Festival gives him the Nacho Martínez Award, highlighting the professional movie making. “Living your illusion. There are people who need to express their emotions through characters. And they’re not fanciful, that’s not the word I would use. Their situation is quite complex, but 99% of them are diligent, serious and formal. I’ve seen lots of hard work, struggles and commitment. Mostly in those who already have a career, perhaps among those starting out there are some who are a bit fanciful, but I doubt it,“said Luis San Narciso. 



As a FIPRESCI Jury we voted for Aphanistan film The Patience Stone (Syngué Sabour) directed by Atiq Rahimi and adapted from the best-selling novel written by the same author Atiq Rahimi, translated in 33 languages and winner of the most prestigious book award in France (Goncourt Prize) in 2008. Some of other jurists asked why. Throughout history many women have sped strong will, whose main weapon was the allure. There are plenty of examples: Frines the harlot who saved the death penalty before the judges by showing her naked body, the great Countess, which after a passionate night with Napoleon III managed to persuade him to support the unification of Italy; then Rokselan, a slave who became the most ruthless adviser of Turkish Sultan ... the recent history is full of examples, thrones commanding the army, while men preaching in churches and schools at the department unavailable for women: there is no doubt that women due to its impact on men could destroy the army, thrones etc… But various stories which have reached to date indicate that the it was not enough just a pretty face and body, but the mind. Women adore, love, serve and of course needs to be loved back. But if the society does not let her to be loved back, woman dies. And this is the story where woman fights back and again sacrifice herself to a just cause that may not be recognized right away. A beautiful Afghan woman tends to protect her husband in their war stricken bedroom, while he is comatose wounded and helpless in bed. The fighting rages outside and she hopes for his recover consciousness. She is sacrificing her safety, children and honor to a potential brutal violence onto herself in order to obey and submits to her husband and his family, but just like in her life before neglecting herself, alone and unhappy. And happiness is the most important. The original title of the film is "Syngué sabour" a magic stone which, according to Persian mythology, when placed in front of a person shields him from unhappiness, suffering, pains and misteries, in during all the words unspoken in once’s marriage. So women releasing themselves to a patience stone that is now in her case her wounded and unable husband. She talks about her childhood, her frustrations, her loneliness, her dreams, her desires, everything that husbands according to their Middle East tradition do not want to know about. She touches him, kisses him on the way that she could never have done before in spite of their 10 year marriage. Therefore, this paralyzed man becomes "syngué sabour", a magic stone. However she doesn’t know that he is beside the paralyzed also conscious. The woman is ready to serve, according to a Middle Eastern tradition but also to be loved. But her love goes to a lonely, abused solder from the opposite army, who has come to her for a little comfort and sex thinking that the woman is a prostitute right in front of her unable but (un)conscious husband. Because to save her honor, her husband and to save herself from the sexual abuse by the opposite army she had to lie about herself. So there is love in the story as well.  


The Award of FIPRESCI at Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijon honors an absolutely immaculate performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani for her interpretation of a brave and strong woman of Middle Eastern, neglected by the society and her hero solder husband. Her work on Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijon was awarded with PREMIO A LA MEJOR ACTRIZ (Best Actress). She turns her back to the patriarchal, men pleasing society and unequal treatment that she was born into and turn her husband’s condition into her advantag, that way fighting and winning the hostile men of her society by breaking all the rules possible. The film is complete visually and narrativly, the story is powerful and courageous. And with all its illustrative qualities honors a brave, little, strong women out there, ready to fight for their life and their own sexual existence overcoming demanding and cold man on their own way. The Patience Stone is about the utter sacrifice and love. There is no love where women end up far too submissive on their own expense, which quite often happens in the patriarchal, men focusing society. Women need to be strong, to love and to be loved back and that includes healthy sexual existence. In some societies there is no difference between obligation and honor and love, so the relationships end with a submissive exhaustion of one partner. In patriarchal and men focusing society the submissive one is a woman, in some other modern societies it may be the other way around. Either way it is no good and we do not need bloody war conflicts of any culture to realize that. More about other films and the winners of award next time.

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