3rd of March 2024   |   News    |       |    187

Mohammad Taghizadeh's Commentary: Love in Overtime

Mohammad Taghizadeh's Commentary: Love in Overtime

Mohammad Taghizadeh's recent commentary on "Three Songs for the Extraordinary" highlights a unique perspective on Afghanistan and the theme of love. Despite its lack of visually appealing aesthetics, the personal chemistry between the characters transforms this short documentary into a series of shining and memorable moments.

According to the public relations department of the Center for the Development of Documentary, Experimental, and Animation Cinema, Mohammad Taghizadeh believes that "Three Songs for the Extraordinary" is among the best documentaries made in recent years about Afghanistan and the theme of love, though it seems to have gone unnoticed in Iran as much as it deserves.

Produced by Afghan-American artistic couple Elizabeth and Golistan Mirzayi, the film, after success in international festivals, was acquired by Netflix. The artistic and thematic value of the film doubled after joining Netflix, leading to its deserved recognition and even a nomination for the Short Documentary Oscar in 2022. The film's narrative revolves around the lives of a young couple, Shadeste and Binenazir, living in contemporary Afghanistan, where hope and love are elusive even in the most challenging economic and cultural circumstances.

Shadeste's family, with minimal education and cultural exposure, denies her the opportunity to join the military, and prior war and migration have also interrupted her education. Constrained to think only of poppy cultivation for income, her family rejects her decisions, steering her solely toward engaging in the opium trade.

In these trying circumstances, Shadeste remains determined to fulfill her aspirations. Love for her spouse and family strengthens her resolve, portraying the crystallization of love in challenging and complex cultural and geographical conditions.

The Mirzayi filmmakers not only depict Shadeste's unique and extraordinary family but also capture the lives of other residents in this camp, including children and their living, recreational, and social spaces. These genuine and poignant images reveal the minimal welfare facilities available to the Afghan residents in the area.

The success of the Mirzayis in this film is attributed to their similar life experiences in Afghanistan, which they have artfully presented to the world. Despite residing in the United States, they have not forgotten their homeland, showcasing their life experiences in the most artistic way possible.

Four other films produced by them from 2014 to 2018 reflect their national identity and efforts to bring the concerns of their Afghan compatriots to the world. These include "Trapped in Kabul" (2013), addressing the issue of Afghan political refugees, and "Goodbye Kabul" (2014), focusing on the concerns of international agency workers. "For Sardar: Afghan Journalist" (2016) explores the murder of an Afghan journalist, while "Leyla on the Bridge" (2018) delves into heroin addiction in Afghanistan.

The cinematic paradox and contrast have always been crucial factors in the success and quality of films and characters. "Three Songs for the Extraordinary" adeptly utilizes this golden element to advance its narrative.

The crystallization of love in a dark, hopeless, and mundane setting is the film's primary focus, where Shadeste sings three songs to her extraordinary spouse with enthusiasm and joy, accompanied by the best soundtrack and sympathetic collaboration with the audience.

The film may lack visually appealing aesthetics, but it is the chemistry between the characters that turns this short documentary into a collection of shining and captivating moments. The exploration of love in "Three Songs for the Extraordinary" is not based on music, picturesque scenes, or beauty, but on authenticity, simplicity, and purity, making it attractive and enduring. It seems to have lessons and attention-worthy content for both cinema enthusiasts and filmmakers in Iran.