The Sculptures Are Laughing (clip 2)
Director: Toryalai Shafaq; Cinematographer: Eng. Latif Ahmadi (also writer)
Duration: 00:17:50; Aspect Ratio: 1.247:1; Hue: 103.862; Saturation: 0.017; Lightness: 0.338; Volume: 0.354; Cuts per Minute: 9.808; Words per Minute: 53.133
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.
Where were you today, why didn't you come, is everything alright?
Well, I had some work.
Tell me, Nasrin, what was the subject of today's lecture?
The matter of "Art", but very interesting.
Look, dear Aisha, I have bought a new long play from the music center. Shall I bring it for you? You will like it.
Why not? We will hear it.
How is it? Did you like it?
Why are you laughing, Aisha? Tell me so that I can also laugh.
Aisha, your smile is lovely. For God's sake, tell me what the matter is.
I don't know if you have noticed one thing until now or not.
What is it?
Enough, enough, thank you.
Nasrin, nowadays, Ahmad looks at you differently. As if he has fallen in love with you.
I have also felt it. I wanted to tell you that is the reason is he so warm with me these days.
Lucky you; how better could happiness be for you? Ahmad is a handsome artist and sensible youth. He is good looking and lovely. I have been his classmate for a few years now. I like his character and personality. I think that he is really a man to live with.
I still haven't found an ideal man for my life. Aisha, my social status is different from that of Ahmad's. He is an extraordinary good boy, but he cannot make me fortunate.
What is your idea about a man for life? Who can make you fortunate?
Dear Aisha, a handsome young boy, faithful, educated from Europe, living a luxurious life, a beautiful car...yes, a man with whom I could live happily, peacefully and comfortably till the end of my life. I have not yet found such a person.
You are looking for an angel from the sky, Nasrin. As a friend, I can tell you that you should choose someone who loves you. His love should be his true feelings for you, not a lie.
Aisha, uptil now, lots of young boys have had feelings towards me.
But young boys like Ahmad cannot ensure a life for us.
Nasrin, I think Ahmad is different from the others. He is not a lustful youth.
Aisha, in which house of Ahmad can I organize a party? Eventually, what will my friends say? You see, all of them have a luxurious life like us. They are drowning in money up to their throats. My life and Ahmad's life is very different. He can not fulfil my wishes. He does not even have a car.
Nasrin, it is true that Ahmad does not have anything, but he has decency and personality.
Dear Aisha, when you have money, you have everything. Let's go.
Nasrin, I can agree that money makes everything.
Dear Aisha, we spoke a lot. Let's go as we are getting late.
Ahmed's (the protagonist) house is actually my own house in Bagh-e-Bala. The sculptures you see in his studio are borrowed from the Sculpture Department at Kabul University.
In conversation with Engineer Latif, Scriptwriter and Cinematographer of the film.
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, everyday 4pm to 8pm 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.
My teacher Sonaram Talwar allowed me to go and shoot this feature film. I will never forget this memory... After the first schedule, we developed the rushes and gathered in the cinema to view them. All the footage was out of focus! I was afraid...I couldn't stay in my place. I thought I will never go to the cinema again, I will never take the camera, I will not film. And then one of my friends came and told that us it is a mistake of the projectionist there in the projection room. Then after that...
Nasreen's Friend invites her to a party. Nasreen asks Ahmed to join them.
This scene is filmed in the campus of Kabul University.
Oh, Salam (Greeting)
Fahim has invited all of us tonight. He wants to carry his classmates' memories with him to Europe.
Though I am invited to a wedding party, if we are all together then we will have more fun. Bye.
Oh, really, if you see our other classmates, inform them as well. I will also tell them.
Tonight we all are invited to Fahim's house. You also come there.
No one has told me anything so far.
I am telling you to come.
I will definitely come.
The party scene is filmed in a restaurant in Khargah Lake.
Aah yes... before this making this feature film I made 9 advertisement films. Yes. The first of these advertisement films is with me. And it also has fond memories. It was an advertisement for a car battery.
I was still a student. It was hard for anyone to make films, unless they were part of Afghan Films. I got one of those war cameras. Its called an Lomo camera, which has a magazine that can hold just one minute of 35mm stock. I had done some in-camera animation. The ad was about a magician.
One of my friends bought me a small tank that could hold 200 metres of film. I developed it in the long corridor of the polytechnic, where i could hang it up to dry.
The printing from negative to positive was done here at Afghan Film with the help of my good friends Sultan, Khoja (who still works at Afghan Film) etc......
Ahmad, come and dance. You have been looking at this tableau for so long, as if you have painted this.
Do you know, Nasrin, tableaus always speak. They always talk about the feelings of their artist.
Ahmad, I request you to talk to me about art.
Alright, you come to a silent place so that I tell you about this art.
Do you know, Nasrin, art is mixed with feeling. If an artist does not have artistic feeling, his work does not have artistic value. Art loses its value when it serves the purpose of generating money; money!
I want to see your sculptures.
Tomorrow I will wait for you at home. Let's go.
Ahmed's house and studio is Engineer Latifs house in Bagh-e-Bala. The Sculptures and paintings are from the art department at Kabul University
Nasreen visits his studio. The talk about life and art. Ahmed gifts her a copy of Tolstoys, "What is art?" (1896) in Dari.
At that time Mr Asafi was the President (the second president of Afghan Film). I came directly to him and I put the film on the table. He said 'What are you doing? What is this?' I told him that it is an advertisement film. He said 'Who are you'. I said 'My name is Engineer Latif and I graduated from Kabul Polytechnic Institute. I have made this film.' 'How? Who has developed this film? Who has processed this film?'
I said this was processed by me and that the staff at Afghan FIlms are my friends and they have helped me. He says 'Okay, lets go to the projection room.'
He took me to the projection room and gave the projectionist the copy to run. It was a one minute film. Then he asked me, 'Where have you studied?' I said I studied, privately. From Sonaram Talwar here.
I was afraid. But he was impressed. He called in the staff from the camera department at Afghan Film. He said, "Please watch this film". He had apprecaited my film and my efforts. Unfortunately he died that very night, from infarction.
Oh, salam, welcome.
Please come in.
Ahmad, I wish I knew what these sculptures and these tableaus say about the feelings of their artist.
Nasrin, one day you will understand that what these sculptures and tableaus are saying. One day you will hear all their voices.
Ahmad, whom do you live with?
Alone, with these sculptures of mine.
Ahmad, do you want your life to be limited to only this much?
You are mistaken, Nasrin. My world is very vast and beautiful, so much so that you can't even imagine it.
Ahmad, what does this sculpture represent?
This sculpture shows poverty and adversity. You can see a father who is carrying a heavy load for the survival of his family, although his body strength has depleted.
There must be other sculptures behind this curtain?
No, that is my bedroom.
Oh, very good. I am going, bye.
One moment, please.
Accept a small gift from me.
What is art? Thank you. Bye
Nasreen's bedroom is a suite at the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel.
Nasrin, I know that my letter will not have much value for you, but through this letter, I want to express my heart's true feelings for you. Nasrin, you don't know that it has been some time since your body and movements have been drawing my attention. My heart wants to express my love to you, but I am afraid, afraid of hearing a negative response. I know this fact...I know very well that there is a huge distance between our lives, but since you are a college student and can be counted as a broad-minded person, I dare to admit to you, that I love you. At times my heart wants you, but when I look at my social status, it takes me away from you. Of course, my love will be very different in comparison to others. Nasrin, believe me, I love my dignity. Promise me; promise me that you will respond with dignity to me and my letter. Ahmad.