The Sculptures Are Laughing (clip 1)
Director: Toryalai Shafaq; Cinematographer: Eng. Latif Ahmadi (also writer)
Duration: 00:02:19; Aspect Ratio: 1.247:1; Hue: 103.229; Saturation: 0.018; Lightness: 0.323; Volume: 0.228; Cuts per Minute: 13.789; Words per Minute: 43.091
Summary: Date (Afghan Calendar): 1350?
Story of an artist who loves a spoiled rich girl, who marries a wealthy man instead, only to find out that he's a gangster. Both artist and girl get embroiled in gang schemes.
Footage Source: Afghan Films editing dept tape
Translated by Rajni Prakash.
In the opening shot of this film, a professor writes the word 'hunar' (art) on the blackboard. He turns around to face the class and says: “art is the salt of life.” Everybody needs art, but only a few can make art. He expounds on the qualities one needs in order to be an artist. Among the qualities he lists: an artist has to be ahead of his time.
This scene was filmed in an art classroom at the Kabul Polytechnic Institute, and leads into a film with an artist as protagonist. The film was directed by Toryalai Shafaq, who had studied direction at the Film and Television Institute in India (FTII), but the screenplay and cinematography are by Engineer Latif, and represent the first full-length effort from this prolific Afghan filmmaker. Latif was a student at the Polytechnic, who had a thirst for cinema. He asked for private lessons with Sonaram Talwar, the Indian cinematographer who at that time was head of the camera department at Afghan Films. Latif would spend every evening as an apprentice in Talwar’s house. This schooling continued for three years, after which Talwar told him that he had acquired the ‘hunar’ needed to enter the profession of cinema. The film was completed in 1976.
Sonaram Talwar was a cameraman from FTII who joined Afghan Films. A lot of the archival footage has been filmed by Talwar himself between 1968 and 1980.
Art is the salt of life. If we study the psychology of an artist, he is a person who is different from others. There is a sentiment in his feature and its perception is difficult for ordinary people. He looks at everything with an artistic eye.
May I come in?
Please, sit down.
A sensible artist draws the social phenomenon as it is along with its external links. An artist that takes inspiration from his own society, his artistic reflection moves hearts. Art is a clean act and the artist is worth praising; and finally the death of an artist is a tragedy.