[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:] Mashregh News
[Date:] 25 Tir 1392 [16 July 2013]
The True Story of Makhmalbaf and the Baha’i Gardener
According to Mashregh News, quoting Mehr Magazine, “The Gardener” is the name of Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s latest work, a film that some media outlets have dubbed as advertorial. Propagating Baha’ism is the filmmaker’s main mission in this project, and this mission is not analysis or media speculation, but a clear and completely formal product of the film’s structure and content.
The story of “The Gardener” is about an Iranian filmmaker who travels to Israel with his son to research a religion that originated in Iran about 170 years ago. Followers of this religion come to Haifa from all over the world to serve in the garden that is the centre of this religion and to become peace-loving by working in nature, which is a direct reference to the Baha’i teachings.
Father [Makhmalbaf], by accompanying and talking to the gardener in this garden, a devout Baha’i, realizes that his religion bears a strong resemblance to the peaceful and nonviolent thoughts of figures such as Gandhi and Mandela.
And here the question arises for the father that if this peaceful religious view existed in Iran, would the government have sought to build an atomic bomb? Of course, the film does not suffice with this political conclusion and puts the son in front of the father, who deeply believes that all religions have done nothing but destroy the world!…
Makhmalbaf, who now lives in the shadow of the Baha’is, owns a house and a garden, and has turned his fascination with a Baha’i gardener into the central story of a movie. Three decades ago, he felt so different about the Baha’is that he could not even stand the gardener who used to work for the Baha’is!
(Seyyed Morteza Avini - Volume 2 of the Magic Mirror)