8/23/2007

A Citizen's Arrest

This turned out to be an unusual day after all! Today at work I was running around going to meetings and taking care of things when I realized I had missed lunch. Earlier I had heard yelling noises and police sirens outside my office, and had not considered them anything unusual for downtown Berkeley. When I ran out to get a salad from a small shop by my office as I do most days, I asked the ladies there what the noise was all about. They said a man had tried to snatch a woman's purse, and she had resisted. Then two customers inside the shop who had witnessed the struggle had gone to the woman's rescue, and had neutralized and arrested the burglar. When I came out, the two local "heroes" were giving their statements to Berkeley Police. I didn't know the woman heroe, but I recognized the man who had been sittng across the conference table from me at a software presentation yesterday. When a civilian arrests someone who has broken the law, he has made a "Citizen's Arrest." I didn't think in today's world, outside of movies, anybody would attempt this dangerous civic action anymore. Live and learn.
This evening I went to see Abbas Kiarostami's "ABC Africa" in Berkeley with two dear friends. It is a documentary he did by invitation of an organization in Uganda to tell of the 1.5 million orphans left behind the AIDS epidemic in that country. Simple storytelling by Kiarostami of a human catastrophe. Words are incapable of describing the story of those children's eyes.

15 comments:

Ehsan said...

Nazi, would you care to right a bit more about your personal opinion on this movie, ABC Africa?

Mehran said...

Live and learn, that says alot Nazy jan
Also I really want to know as well what u think about ABC Africa. I have never seen it, I would love to know more about it.
Thanks Nazy jan

serendip said...

What an exciting day, you've had so far...

Nazy said...

Salam Ehsan Jan. Thanks for coming.

I like Kiarostami in general, because of the simplicity and hope he has in his movies. This is why he does very well with children as subjects and with natural settings as his background. It is always refreshing to see his optimistic view on the world.

As compared to his other movies, though, I wasn't terribly impressed with this movie.

First of all, it was made in 10 days. Ten days is not enough time to make a very good documentary about an important subject, getting into the story at sufficient depth.

Second, he was experimenting with his new digital camera in this movie (in 2001), so I think he got carried away with the simplicity of use of his camera and forgot to pay closer attention to quality. Furthermore, it was said at the time that this was the "sketch" of the movie which was to have been made later, which turned into "the movie" itself. Well, the movie looks sketchy as a result!

Third, and the most important reason I wasn't impressed was that Kiarostami was invited by a branch of UN, can't remember which, to go and "document" the plight of these children. I believe the objective behind such invitation would have been to bring world attention (through the efforts of a world-class director) to the dire situation of the children and to get resources (I guess money) allocated to the cause. I don't believe he met this mission successfully, I'm afraid. Ten day and a "sketchy" approach, though it showed us so much, did not show all or everything that needed to be said and shown. It wasn't explained, really, why so many people die of AIDS in Uganda. It wasn't really explained what the Ugandan government is doing about it. It wasn't really explained what the audience could do to help those children, other than adopting them and getting them out of Uganda.

It was simple and sweet and occasionally sad and occasionally fun to watch, but I don't think it met the calling it was based upon to the best of what I know to be Kiarostami's abilites.

Will I recommend it? I would recommend any and all Kiarostami movies, as I believe him to be a living legend, a source of pride for Iran and Iranians everywhere, and a masterful director of many unforgettable Iranian films.

So, there, you had me write my first movie review. I just know some cinema fans might really want to kill me now for my illiterate and presumptuous foray into movie business! I hope you are happy now! Seriously? Thank you for asking me; I am honored.

Nazy said...

Mehran Jan. Thanks for your kind comment. I hope what I wrote for Ehsan is satisfactory to you(r excellency!). The movie is available on DVD, and first chance I get I will add it to my small library of Iranian movies. I have several of his movies already. We can compare notes on what you have and haven't seen. Be good and enjoy Chicago.

Nazy said...

Serendip-e-Kam Peida! I have missed you. Are you being sarcastic with that comment? It was actually my day yesterday. Soon I will tell of my Friday.

I do come and visit you several times a day to see what you're up to. Soon I hope to have a post here where we can do some good dialogue with the audience, a pillar to which will be YOU! Please pay attention and participate if it catches your fancy. Be good and take care my friend.

! said...

salam
aval inke man az link http://www.dialogos.blogfa.com/
estefade mikonam zira shoma bedoonid ke man az koja amade ... va mozafan bar inke man az dostane ا.ش hastam va ... ( be tozihe ishan dar weblog اعلی حضرت حاج آقا morajee konid ...
dovom inke film ABC AFrica vaghean zibast ....

Nazy said...

Dear Universal Dimension:

I understand who you are, where you come from, and why you are honoring me with your presence! Thank you for coming.

Yes, it was a touching film. The thing that really surprised me was that those children didn't seem to be suffering from malnutrition. They weren't thin, or dirty, or sick (of course except for the ones with AIDS). Another thing that really made me sad was to look at middle-aged women caring for as many as 20 children each, some of whom were their own grandchildren and many were orphaned children of parents who had both died of AIDS. Kiarostami's trademark of joy in the face of despair, shown through music and dance was also sweet to watch.

Thanks again for coming.

SERENDIP said...

Nazy Jan: I've been nursing what they call a "Vascular headache" (vasodilation and vasoconstriction)for several days now. It's similar to migrain headache but not as easily remedied by medication. Since the culprit is the weather here in AZ due to wildy fluctuating barometric pressure during the monsoon season.

Basically, I'm a walking barometer...hahaha

! said...

Dear Nazy khoshzogh !
first my identity is not some thing special or hidden , I just write under the mask of ! (in the case that every body know me)even in one of my best friends weblog (shobeir), because I think this is a kind of respect in the place that is not belong to me ...
I just write under my name in http://www.dialogos.blogfa.com/
because I have the feel of ownership (may be a kind of) there ...
second :
my name is Farshad and you must see my name in dialogous weblog many time ...
third:
presence man baraye kasi honor ee dar bar nadare !
(ino jedi migam !)
age honor ee dar bar dasht ke man inja naboodam akhe !!! (LOL)
(just kidding)
and 4th:
I really love you view point on ABC AFRICA

P.S:
ye khabare jaleb alan internet man D.C. shod va man vaghty dobare bargashtam internetam filternadare va tamame axhaye shoma ro neshoon dada !!

Nazy said...

Dear Barometer Serendip: I'm sorry to hear of your ailment. A dear friend of mine here has had to struggle with that headache all her life. She tells me that as she is growing older the headaches have become less frequent, so all you have to do is live the fabulous life of Serendip long enough for it to go away! It will probably not help your headache much if I told you that I read the link you provided and was fascinated by the information on type of headache. Thank you for informing me. I get migraine headaches every once in a while and I can't function when that happens. Be good azizam. I hope temperatures and winds and air pressures return to their ideal point soon and leave you alone! Have a good weekend.

Nazy said...

Dear Universal Farshad:

Like I said, I understood that your "identifier" was not chosen to provide anonymity. I know it was selected to do exactly the opposite, showing you a member of a group whose identity has meaning for me. I am honored members of Alef Shin's dialogue group come to visit me. He is a superb teacher and group leader/member, and if I lived in Tehran, you can be sure that by now I would have shown up to your Monday meetings and I would have known what you all looked like! Absent that, I am delighted to have you and your friends visit me.

Now, you will have to tell me how you would prefer to be addressed. I will continue calling you "Universal Dimension" unless you tell me otherwise.

Having removed the formalities from the table (!), I'm glad you could open the pictures. I never use photographs through direct links, because I have learned that it is poor blogging etiquette! So I am sure the comments section and photographs of my posts don't open in Iran either because of internet speed or firewalls.

Take care my friend. Come back.

! said...

dear Nazy ...
nice ...
1- your super understanding and IQ always surprise me ...

2- you can call me in any way you want ...
Farshad ..
Universal Farshad ...
Universal Dimension ...
or any lovely phrases that happy and surprise me ... !!!

3- these days I am findding some ways and surelly my problems are all disappered !!!
thanks for helping me .. ( describing me the problem ...)

take care ...
and sorry for miss spelling in some cases ...

Nazy said...

Dear Universal Farshad:

Thank YOU for coming and for saying those nice things! Ha ha, I don't know about the IQ business! I am much more ordinary than you know. I wished your compliment would add to my IQ, but alas, it won't!

I am not sure what "ways" you have found here, but I believe that when we are "aware," we can see and find our way better. Awareness of the environments in which we live, awareness of the environments in which we don't live, but with which we are somehow connected. Awareness of people around us, and most importantly, awareness of ourselves. I see that Alef Shin is always teaching us to look and to "see" that which is hidden, that which is there but cannot be seen without a serious attempt to look and see. I am sure whatever ways you are seeing and finding my friend, come from the ability inside you.

Be good and come back again. It is delightful to hear from you.

! said...

dear Nazy
tahnks for your comment ...
you know I really love your sentenses about awareness ..
may be I write it and hang it in my room ...