My Daughter Hana, In the Eyes of Her Father
Born in the autumn of 1988, Hana Makhmalbaf,14, quit official school after the second elementary grade out of a childish whim or perhaps madness at the age of 8. And like her elder sister, Samira who had also quit school earlier, Hana took private lessons from her still madder father.
Hana attended all classes arranged during her childhood at Makhmalbaf Film House, and she collaborated on all films made by members of her family.
She did watercolors (1), and at times she did still photography on film scenes (2) or worked as a script-girl. (3) She kept writing short stories and film scripts, and she appeared in one of her father''s films as an actress. (4) She made two films by handicam (5) and her films were invited to international festivals. (6)
Hana was in Afghanistan for two months in the autumn of 2002. She followed her sister, who was making a film in Afghanistan and visited individual homes in search of players, and thus Hana discovered the chronic state of fear and dread of the Afghan woman. Typically, the Afghan woman is still afraid of being a woman, of being seen, of participating in social of affairs, of having an identity card, of being called a "black-head", and of the return of the Taliban. And often she is not aware that her own husband is one of the Taliban, and that the whole Taliban affair is part of her traditional culture. The outcome of Hana''s two-month stay in Kabul is a film with the provisional title, "Joy of madness".
As her father, I believe that all this has nothing to do with genius or things like that. It could have something to do with luck, or perhaps madness, and certainly a great deal with education and hard work. I really become mad when people call somebody else or me a genius. It seems to me that the speaker is ignoring the role of disciplined and hard work as well as the desire to move ahead and that he is trying to justify his own lack of disciplined and hard work and the desire to move ahead. Hana has also studied foreign languages, but sometimes she plays with the foreign words and their translation instead of memorizing them. And the following rather long poem is in fact a game she has been playing with words from a book of French colloquial phrases and conversation.
I think she has had one of the happiest childhood anybody could have in the world, and no doubt one of the reasons was the fact that she didn''t have to, or did not want to go to school every day like an office clerk who has to go to office at the same hour every day. She did not have to do homework every night and instead had the time and opportunity to learn whatever she could or wanted to learn. Isn''t that enough for happiness?
Hana''s friends have told her, "One day we will plaster school doors with mud. Let it rain! Let there be mud everywhere. Let there be…
Winter of 2002
1- Watercolor on the cover of the book `Life Is Color''.
2- Photographs on the first episode of the film `The Day I Became a Woman''.
3- Script-girl on the films `The Door'', `Silence'',`The Day I Became a Woman'' and `September 11''.
4- The film `A Moment Of Innocent''.
5- The films `The Day My Aunt Was Ill'', 1998-Iran and `My Mad Sister'', 2002- Afghanistan.
6- 50th Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland -1997
-10th Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan-1997
-Hanover Film Festival, Germany -1997
-Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Greece-1999
- 12th Singapore International Film Festival, 2000
-5th Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea-2000
- Boston Museum of Arts, Boston University, U.S. A. -2000
-Moscow International Film Festival, Russia-2001
- International Film Festival of a Hundred Flowers and Golden Roosters, China-2001
*Read ... as `three dots'' everywhere in this poem*
Visa for One Moment
By Hana Makhmalbaf
I study ... `three dots''
And there are books of colloquial phrases and conversation all around me. `Three dots'' ... arrives impatient and she sits beside me.
… is bored and begins to thumb through the books scattered all around me. In the rough rocks of words and idioms … discovers unhewn sculptures of poetry.
That `three dots'' is ...
dreadful, very bad
What is the name of that ...?
Many people climb the mountains. All of us - even those who never climbed the mountains - have seen rocks. But none of us discover unhewn statues in the rough rocks, except for Michelangelo.
... leaves. I stop studying foreign languages and begin to look for `three dots'' ... in the book of colloquial phrases and conversation.
I am full of ...
I am full of motivation.
But I am not feeling well.
I am sick.
I have headache.
I''ve got a fever.
I''ve caught a cold.
I cough a lot.
My throat hurts.
I have no appetite.
I feel better now.
But I have no motivation.
There should be a pain.
I am suffering from a pain.
Oh what a strong motivation I have for recovery.
I am ...
I would have committed ...
if it weren''t for the sake of ...
… has had a headache for many years.
There is a heavy traffic.
There is not.
There is absolutely nothing.
It is not at all like that.
I feel listless.
I get on the bus.
Your good health.
I always forget your name.
A little/ a bit/ a lot/ a great deal.
Help me! I am lost.
Where is the bureau for lost objects?
I''ve lost ...
There has been an accident.
Her/ His hands have broken.
She/ He received a blow on the eyes.
Is this a cerebral hemorrhage?
Is he/ she badly hurt?
I have wounded (cut) myself.
I''ve got ...
Call an ambulance please.
Call the police.
I am an offender.
I''ve lost one of my contact lenses.
Would you kindly give me another one?
I want to look in the mirror.
How much should I pay?
What day is today?
Sixth of April
Fourth of August
We will leave on May 5
Early in the morning
The day after tomorrow
Two days ago
During the week
Even on holidays
The birth day
With best wishes.
Holidays have already begun.
I am tired of myself.
I travel away from myself
With a one-way ticket.
I fasten the seat-belt
I wish to stay ...
for one month
I need a visa for one moment.
The passport controller doesn''t speak the passenger''s language.
Can you help me? Sir, Madam, Miss.
-Not so loud please!
I have had a hard time putting the baby to sleep. What a polluted air!
Can you help me? Miss, Madam, Sir.
-What can I do for you?
To become a translator.
-You talk so fast that I can''t understand you.
Please speak slowly.
We don''t understand each other''s language.
-Where are you from?
Where am I from?
Do you have a map of the world with you?
Please show ... to me.
Do you have a dictionary (a lexicon)?
I can never open my suitcase.
I can''t expose the contents of my heart to people at an airport.
Not even for him, my gentle companion.
Not even for you, the polite customs officer.
Why don''t you understand?
This is all for personal purposes.
These are ...
needle and yarn.
Do you see what I have to go through for a moment''s visa?
I went through
will go through.
All that happened in one moment.
where is ...?
Where can I get on ...?
I am in ...
To the left
To the right
I feel dizzy.
-Hello! Good afternoon. Are you an Iranian? I am a political asylum-seeker.
Good afternoon! I am just a tourist.
Excuse me, I need a ... room
for one month
for a week
for one day
for an hour
What is the room fare for one moment?
Give me the key to the room please.
I''ll have my meals in the room.
Heating system,Oh operator!
-For bed and breakfast
No, thanks. I don''t want it.
Do you have ...?
I need a ... room.
Can you get me ... on the phone?
-There is no answer, Sir, Madam, Miss!
-Please hold on.
How much should I pay for a ... conversation?
How much stamp should I put on a letter to ...?
This ... doesn''t work.
The water is not hot.
The window (door) won''t open.
The water-tap leaks.
I am not satisfied with the room.
... broke down.
The light- switch
Monsieur, Mister! Oh operator, excuse me.
I can''t hear you.
Why doesn''t any crank-caller call me?
Can I make ... for 5 o''clock?
I want to dye my hair.
I am in ...
Please part my hair on the left/right side.
No, I had better let it fall on the forehead.
I want a shampoo for straight (dry / greasy) hair.
I don''t need a hair spray.
Please shave my face.
I am in a hurry.
I have an appointment in ... at six.
Waiter, get me ...
the menu, please
and an empty vase for a probable rose.
I want some ...
That''s enough, thanks a lot.I am on diet.
I''ll pay with a credit card
It''s still valid.
Sir, Madam, Miss!
I would like something made of gold/ silver.
I want a present for ...
Not too expensive
A small delicate thing
Is this made of ...?
Is it gold-varnished?
Is it silver-varnished?
How many carats is it?
I need ... camera.
With flowing hair
With a back-light
Gazing to the camera
With `no movement please''
With a souvenir framing
Good or bad, I am going to tear it.
I don''t look like my photographs.
I never look like my photographs.
Operator! I can''t hear you.
We don''t seem to be properly connected.
You don’t want me to hold on.
I haven''t had a dream of myself for a long time.
What number should I dial to send a fax to myself?
We are interested in ...
But I want to go to a ...
Is there ... for tonight?
Two seats in the hall
For Friday or Tuesday
Not too far away from the stage.
Thanks, one seat would be enough.
Why am I feeling dizzy?
Excuse me, where is ...?
They don''t dispense medicine without the doctor''s prescription.
I need some ...
To have a pain.
I have a headache.
A bad headache.
I am suffering from a pain.
This is how much I owe you.
I have paid the bill.
I am leaving tomorrow morning.
-Don''t leave ... please. We were quite satisfied with you.
-A 20 percent discount for your loneliness.
I was quite satisfied here, too.
By the way, what was my address here?
To have no more money left.
To come out.
Would you please help me set up my tent on ...?
Setting up tents here is prohibited.
I''ll go to ...
I am tired of myself.
I travel away from myself.
With a one-way ticket.
The sea is calm today.
There is a gentle breeze.
... is blue like the sky.
The high tide
The low tide.
I want to hire ...
a boat with outboard engine
a pair of skis
Is the weather ...?
Someone has drowned in the sea.
He has committed ...
No one tried to ... him before he committed suicide.
Who is …?
Who was …?
Who will … be?
Engineer, builder, architect
When did … live?
Some time ago, recently, previously.
Coming into the world, being born.
Naked, bare, crying.
Name, title, surname.
Short biography, curriculum vitae:
Job, work, role, office, bureau, company.
Some time ago, recently, previously ...
Hana ... 2002