Friday, November 2, 2012

Mani Haghighi at McGill: following his steps

    Today that I can’t be happier.
    I’m starting a brief research on Mani Haghighi, the Iranian film-director who studied Philosophy at McGill University more than a decade ago. After obtaining his PhD in Cultural Studies from Trent University, Mani went back to Iran and started making movies.
    Now we know he had connections –after all, he is Ebrahim Golestan’s grandson, Lili’s daughter and Kaveh’s nephew (all famous artists of Iran). Do understand that I’m not trying to reduce his talents to a mere “luck” by reminding you of his “well-known” genealogy. He well deserves his fame.
    Remember when I said I’m doing research on Mani Haghighi? Well, I’m not doing exactly that. I’m actually writing a paper on his 2007 movie titled “Canaan”. I like the flawful (yes, I just invented this word) characters his film is flooded with. I like how Mina wants to leave Morteza –the man she was supposedly infatuated by at the beginning of their friendship. I like how their paths as husband and wife have parted as the years have gone by. I like how Mina is reminiscing about her past. Did she make a mistake by choosing Morteza rather than Alee? Her entangled thoughts make for a very believable character. Marriage is not the end of the road for her. If our roads crossed each other in the past and we started a journey together, does that mean that our road will never branch off again?
    Life is in constant motion. And “Canaan” beautifully depicts this.
    How happy I am to be walking around the same city and the same campus as Mani did over a decade ago. He probably walked the steps up to the Arts building numerous times and woke up early for his morning classes up the hill. He must have taken one of those three elevators that go up to the 9th floor of Leacock building –which houses the Department of Philosophy. There is a somewhat long road that leads you from the main entrance of the university, the Roddick Gates, straight to the Arts building. But right before you get to the Arts’ steps, that straight road diverges –leading you to Leacock and the Islamic Studies building on the left side and to the Engineering and Science buildings on the right side. But no matter which divergence of the main road you take, you will still always reach the Arts steps –which easily bridges the Humanities and the Sciences.


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