Don’t you ever wish to live in a peaceful place where you know there is no war or conflicts going on? In that imagery place people could live their life without anyone violating their rights. Now listen to this.
The City of Tale or Shahr-e-Ghesseh was a story and a play written and directed by Bijan Mofid back in 1960-70’s. This play was shown in the Iran’s national T.V. back then and it was viewed by millions of us. Still today we Iranians have this story is in our collective mind and we can sing the many beautiful songs from this play. This story was a taste for how a peaceful society works and how members of this society should co-exist. In this city individuals are animal figures working in various jobs that are indeed matching their characters. The story teller begins with a thorough presentation of every character. The clear diversity in this city tells you how each one of these characters live their life without any harassment or conflict. Listening to the roles and responsibilities of each character you figure out how they in their own little way contribute to the bigger society. The politic context of the story made it possible for some critiques of the lack of personal and political freedom of the time.
The conversation among these characters explores love, loss, identity, and also shifts of roles. Some of the figures live on the society’s margins while others are quite productive members.
This is a dynamic story of characters that could be found in every community in our world; however the story is still relevant to our Iranian life. The rhythmic songs and descriptions of the characters roles are not only amusing but quite entertaining. A clear respectful interaction exists among sexes, a phenomenon that could be real challenges for an old patriarchy like our society, then and now. Female figure in this story has freedom, choice, and a place in the heart of every member of this society, while she is respected and accepted.
I guess Shahr-e-Ghesseh was the notion of a free society or a peaceful society that Bijan Mofid pictured for our Iran, a place for co-existence and respect.
Don’t you ever wish that we could create our Shahr-e-Ghesseh, yet now in the hindsight of history? We need our peaceful co-existence in our human life agenda, very soon.
July 7, 2009