[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Adapted from website:] Fars News Agency
[Date:] 23 Tir 1392 [14 July 2013]
Mohsen Makhmalbaf has been out of the country for several years and is making films commissioned by Western festivals with a pornographic theme and [conducting a] smear campaign against Iran. Since the production of the film “Sex and Philosophy”, in which he explicitly questioned sexual morality, Mohsen Makhmalbaf has directly promoted Baha’ism in his latest film, “The Gardener”.
In this film, which lacks a script and any clear story line, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and his son Meysam play the roles of two people who travel to Israel in search of a religion that will save people from violence, in which Makhmalbaf is attracted to Baha’ism, but his son considers religion as the perpetrator of violence and is against the principle of following religion.
The title “Gardener” is derived from the name of the film’s Baha’i character, a gardener, and is full of beautiful views of the Baha’i gardens in Israel.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who, at the beginning of the revolution, was full of revolutionary fervour with extremist films such as “Two Blind Eyes” and “Pure Repentance”, has now become an outspoken preacher of Baha’ism and a defender of Israel.
Makhmalbaf’s Remarks at the Jerusalem Film Festival
The Jerusalem Film Festival will be held from 13 to 22 Tir [4 July to 13 July] in this city with the participation of filmmakers from different countries. During a visit to Jerusalem, Makhmalbaf told a news conference on Tuesday, 18 Tir [9 July] that he loved the Israelis, but called on the country to refrain from military action against Iran. He stressed that a military strike on Iran would make the situation worse. In this ceremony, Makhmalbaf called for a cultural dialogue between Iran and the Zionist regime!
Addressing the occupiers of the Zionist regime, who, in his new film, praise the perverse Baha’i sect under the pretext of peace and friendship, he said, “I love you, but please do not attack Iran, because attacking is not the solution; it makes the situation worse.”
He said that he might make such a film in the future about Zoroastrians or Indian religions. He added, “I am not religious, but we cannot deny religious affairs and their power; I have chosen the followers of Baha’ism in this film because they have an approach that can be exemplary for the followers of other religions.”
The 56-year-old Iranian filmmaker added, “I chose Baha’ism for my film because I believe it is a tolerant religion and has a non-violent approach to all issues, and therefore can be a model for other religions.”
He added, “I have chosen the followers of Baha’ism in this film because they have a tolerant and non-violent approach that can be exemplary for the followers of other religions.”
In response to Makhmalbaf’s remarks in Israel, Mohammad-Kazem Anbarlouei, editor-in-chief of the Resalat newspaper, in a note titled “The Last Station of Traitors” in response to Makhmalbaf’s remarks in Israel, wrote: “Two years ago, Mohsen Makhmalbaf quietly went to the Occupied Territories to make the film ‘The Gardener” in support of the rights of the perverse Baha’i sect!”