The year 2007 may not have ended on a pleasant note for the subcontinent, at least not how the great Sufi poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi would have envisaged.
In the wake of recent terrorist activity, Rumi’s words on tolerance and love hold special significance today.
To mark the 800th birth anniversary of the poet-philosopher, Unesco had declared 2007 as International Year of Rumi.
Taking the celebration of universal Sufism that Rumi professed a step further, an international film festival capturing the essence and the message of the Sufis will be organised in the city [Mumbai] on Saturday, January 5.
The festival showcases films influenced by the Sufi treatise from across the globe. Take for instance Tina Petrova’s Rumi - Turning Ecstatic (Canada, 2006).
The film tells her story of how she rediscovered life through Rumi after a near-fatal accident. An award-winning actress, Tina is a writer, producer and director.
Originally from Turkey but now teaching at the State University of New York Fredonia, Nefin Dinc’s film I Named Her Angel (Turkey, 2006) follows a 12-year-old girl, Elif, through the course of a year, witnessing her learning the Sema (whirling) dance.
The film won the Special Recognition Award at the Washington DC Independent Film Festival and the Student Award at This Line Film Festival, Texas.
Through her film, Give Me Your Love (Pakistan, 2007) young Nameera Ahmed explores the role music plays in the lives of the Mevlevi Sufis or the whirling dervishes.
They talk of the making and playing of the Ney, a reed flute as a metaphor for the training and transformation of the human spirit.
The film captures the timelessness of the world of Sufis in the contemporary context, where the metaphor still holds power.
[About Nefin Dinc's I Named Her Angel, read also
(click the link, then scroll down) with a comment of the Director ]
[Picture: Mumbai, the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Photo from: http://miffindia.in/]