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  • 16th Resistance International Film Festival Commemorating late Mollaqolipour

16th Resistance International Film Festival Commemorating late Mollaqolipour

Concurrent with birthday anniversary of late Iranian film director, screenwriter, and cinematographer, Rasoul Mollaqolipour, the poster of "Rasoul Sign" of Iran’s 16th Resistance International Film Festival was unveiled on Tuesday.

Concurrent with birthday anniversary of late Iranian film director, screenwriter, and cinematographer, Rasoul Mollaqolipour, the poster of "Rasoul Sign" of Iran’s 16th Resistance International Film Festival was unveiled on Tuesday.

This sign is slated to be presented to one cinema practitioner in the event, aimed at paying tribute to the cinematographer whose creativity, courage and innovation are the characteristics of his career.The festival also is scheduled to honor innovative filmmakers with the awards named after the late Mollaqolipour in order to encourage directors to bring innovations to their films on the Islamic Revolution and the Sacred Defense [Iraq-Iran war]”.Molaqolipour is known as one of the most honest post-revolution Iranian cinematographers.

According to those who knew him and followed his films, his honesty and courage are manifested in the films that he made. Born in 1956, he rushed to the warfronts with the break out of the eight-year imposed war. His interest in photography and filmmaking led to his activity in these two domains and registration of the events of war by him. Throughout his several years of activity, he took hundreds of photos and made a number of short films and thirteen feature films. He also directed a TV series. Finally, he passed away due to a heart stroke in the year 2007.

At the time, he was making the film "Zohr-e Rouz-e Dahom" (The Noon of the 10th Day) and had written its script. Following his death, the film was made by another director.After the termination of the imposed war, Molaqolipour maintained a realistic outlook toward the developments of that era. He skillfully depicted the tangible aspects and military clashes of the warfronts, while also presenting the thoughts of combatants. He spoke of the bravery and selflessness of Iranian combatants at the battlefields.The secret behind the success of his films can be summarized in two points. Firstly, he appropriately used military facilities for creation of major war scenes which proved his high ability in this realm.

The majority of his films is of high quality and the violence at warfronts is reflected through the usage of visual effects in his movies.The second reason behind the success of his movies is his strong emotions for those involved in the war and their families.

This fact led him to make a number of family-based melodramatic films. Even in his last film "Mim Mesle Maadar" (M for Mother), he depicted the relationship between mother and child as an excuse to present his strong emotions and to sympathize with the survivors of war.The films "Hiva", "Qaarch-e Sammi" (Poisonous mushroom), and "Mazra'e-ye Pedari" (Paternal farmland) are the other films of this filmmaker in which he studied the topic of Sacred Defense and managed to bond a picture of that era to our current lives and to accompany the viewers in this journey.

In his films, especially in his last movie, he spokes of heroes, who do not give up on their righteous path even under the most difficult circumstances and who remain loyal to their ideals.In the waning days of his life and in an interview, Molaqolipour noted: "We think the war has ended. But, its consequences have remained to this day. For instance, out of the 12,000 residents of a city, 8,000 of them have been seriously injured in a chemical bombardment. Four thousand of the wounded residents are women, who now give birth to ill infants.

They have another life which should be the theme of films. These individuals should not be forgotten."On making films with Sacred Defense themes, he said: "I make social films and think that I have the ability to display the political and social topics of my era within the framework of films. Meanwhile, I believe that I am duty-bound to make war films."This was not just the belief of late Molaqolipour. Many other filmmakers, who were active in the Sacred Defense genre, looked upon making war films as their religious and national obligation.

The Iranian filmmaker, Kamal Tabrizi, notes: "The post-revolution cinematographers, who were inclined toward the Sacred Defense genre remained at the hearts of people and will remain so in the future. Even if they make films of the other genres, they will also make war films.These individuals do not have personal concerns, and intend to study the social domain."In addition to manifesting war and the lives of combatants, Molaqolipour also paid attention to the social consequences of war. He believed that some of the social realities threaten the ideals; while clearly warning others against these threats. He studied the past in his works to find the truth and humanity, so that his warnings would be seriously taken into consideration, IRIB reported.

Several years ago, at the peak of Molaqolipour's filmmaking career, a ceremony was held concurrent with the 17th International Fajr Film Festival to laud and praise this famous Iranian filmmaker and his works. It was the year 1999 and his film "Hiva" had drawn the attention of many in that year. We held an interview with him on this film and his other works, throughout which he criticized his own films. We asked him why he put such emphasis on the past.

He said: "I believe that if we want to appropriately live in the present time, we should maintain our bond with the past. We should not forget our history. I seek humanity and ideals and try to manifest it for today's community, especially youths."He went on to note that the human characteristics of all heroes should be taken into consideration and thereafter with regard to the conditions and the situations, we see them at the point of decision-makings; decisions which distinguish them from ordinary people.

Nearly all of the memorable moments of Molaqolipour's films are about the difficult situations in which individuals have to make serious decisions; situations which land us in complicated circumstances. These conditions usually change the fate of the individual and register another future for him. But, in war conditions, fateful situations such as siege of cities and/or attacks and clashes put individuals at the point of decision-making.

These decision-makings impact the fate of the individual and his companions and are linked to the history of a nation and the destiny of a war.We have seen these difficult choices in films such as "A Journey to Chazzaabeh", and "Paternal Farmland", while the concerns, anxiety, or the calm of the film's characters have been transferred to us. The major art and skill of this Iranian director was to transfer these emotions in the best possible manner to the audience of his films; the viewers who watch the silver screen and await the decision of the hero to make judgments about him.

Numerous religious interpretations have been made about his films, which were expected given his religious beliefs. The last film of this filmmaker, who described it as his major aspiration was related to the uprising of the immortal Martyr of Karbala, Imam Hussein (PBUH). After writing the script he intended to make a film about it. However, unfortunately, his sudden death did not make it possible for him to fulfill his wish.