Kazem Mollaie1

You Can’t be Alone in this World: Kazem Mollaie

Kupal, the Kazem Mollaie film screened in the World Cinema category of the 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala states: “You can’t be alone in this world”.  The Iranian filmmaker, who has brought out the subtlest of emotions, talks about his thoughts and ideas to Aparna Ajith and Anand S.

 ‘Kupal’ has been screened at the 22nd IFFK after receiving much accolades and laurels in the Indian premiere of the film at the Kolkata International Film Festival. How do you feel?

I feel really honored and proud for having made it to this prestigious festival. I watched my film with the audience, and their perception and reaction really made me ecstatic. The people here are just amazing. The hospitality, and how they treat us, make me happy. The quality of films being screened is supreme, and I’m delighted that ‘Kupal’ features among them. It gives me boundless joy.

Could you please tell us more about ‘Kupal’?

Kazem Mollaie2Ahmad Kupal, who is so full of ego, is a symbolic character. His life is choked with loneliness and solitude, and is something many can relate to. I know four Kupals, of which, I was able to tell two that they are not the only ones. Rather than a colossal theme or a story, I wanted to canvas the subtlest and gentlest of human emotions, and that’s how ‘Kupal’ was born. Remember, you can’t live alone in this world.

What were the challenges that you encountered in the making of this film?

Back in Iran, things are different. There are a lot of restrictions and limitations, which my words fail to convey. Most of the films that are being screened here will never be shown in Iran. We have very less freedom, and if we cross the redline, the film is instantly boycotted. I dream of bringing my art, moreover genuine and real art, to my countrymen. But I really am not sure whether that would materialize. But we never give up, we don’t leave Iran. On another perspective, the restraints bring out the best of the creative souls in us, and my bold journey continues.

Inspirational. You might have heard of the scenario prevailing in India regarding the release of ‘Padmavati’. As a member of the film fraternity, what is your take on this?

There are many challenges, and religious regulations persisting in my country. As I said, the scenario here is much better, and here people have the courage and liberty to express their emotions freely. Creative voices should never be caged.

Majid Majidi, Asghar Farhadi, and Jafar Panahi, are now a part of the active vocabulary of Indian movie-buffs. So, when can we expect a joint venture of yours with India?

I love the atmosphere here. The warmth of the people makes me want to come to this land again. The IFFK audience really did receive the world-class films with all their hearts, and I bet this is going to be one of the grandest and the world’s most celebrated film festivals in the very near future. About working in India, I hope someday I will come across a producer, with whom I can collaborate.

We’re looking forward to that. What is your message to this global community?

You can’t be alone in this world.