Makhmalbaf Family Official Website - وبسایت رسمی خانه فیلم مخملباف

Interview: Everything started with a nice picture

Mon, 23/12/1996 - 11:00

Interview with the director Hana Makhmalbaf about her film "The Day My Aunt Was ill"
How old are you Hana?
-       8 years old
How do you feel about the fact that your film has been chosen by the Locarno Film Festival?
-       I am very happy
Why is that?
-       Because all the people over there would watch the movie
Last year you had gone to the Locarno festival with your father, do you have any memories from that trip?
-       Yes, I played with Charlie Chaplin’s grandchild for a whole hour
Have you ever seen any movies from Charlie Chaplin?
-       I have seen a lot of them
What happened that you decided to make a movie?
-       Samira and Maysam don’t go to school and they study cinema at home with my father. I decided to do the same thing.
Does your father put classes at home?
-       Yes, as he couldn’t make any more movies he decided to teach filmmaking to us at home
Did your dad decide to teach you cinema or did you choose to learn it?
-       First my sister, Samira, decided to learn, then my brother and then I. And as my father had the time he accepted to teach us
Then when do you go to school for studying?
-       We study at home and when we reach the fifth grade we go and give the exams to get the certificate
Which one of your father’s movies do you like best?
-       “Gabbeh”, “Salam Cinema” and “The Peddler”
What do you like about “The Peddler”?
-       The crazy boy and the poor couple, whom had 20 children and no money
What made you come up with the theme of the movie “The day my aunt was ill”?
-       One day I went to a photo exhibition with my dad and I saw a nice picture and I decided to make a movie about the picture. One day I went to my grand mother’s home and I started painting on my grandmother’s leg for fun and it turned out very nice. So I decided to mix the two issues and make a movie
Who helped you in making the movie?
-       Maysam filmed the movie and my father did the montage. At first Maysam was supposed to do the montage but when my father came back from his trip and saw the movie he said: “ Let me do the montage”.
After your father did the montage was the story still the same, as you wanted it to be?
-       Yes, but it was a bit different
What was the difference?
-       My father mixed the film and the backstage. At first these two were supposed be separate. But my father decided to mix them
Which one do you prefer?
-       The way it is right now
-       Because it is more real like this
Did you write a script for your movie?
-       No, I made the movie based on what was in my mind. I wrote a script for my first movie, which was 6 minutes long, and as I wanted it to turn out exactly like the script the actors did not do a good job.
Did you decoupage your movie?
-       The first one yes but I made this just like “Salam Cinema”. I told the actors what to do and my brother filmed whatever happened.
Would you like to make more movies in the future?
-       At first I wanted to become a painter. I painted for a year and my dad used to keep the good ones and he asked me to tear and throw away the bad paintings.
Why did he ask you to tear them?
-       My father said that Hafez, the poet, had recited a lot of poems but he had torn the bad ones not to waste people’s time and he only kept the good ones. And as you know even our best work would not be good as Hafez’s bad poems
Now is anything left from your paintings or did you tear them all?
-       There are some left. My father has chosen one of them to be printed on the cover of his book and he has hung the rest on the walls of his bedroom.
How come you quitted painting and decided to make movies?
-       If I become a painter, I have to work alone and I do not like loneliness. Last year after I went to the Locarno Film Festival with my father I decided to quit painting and become a filmmaker
With what kind of camera did you use for making the movie?
-       A video camera
What is your future plan?
-       My brother, sister and I want to go and watch the making of “Silence” to learn more about cinema. But we still don’t know if our father would take us or not.