To do good theater in Iran, Azita Hajiyan says, you to be a bit of an acrobat.
“If a director wants to have an audience and also move within the framework of government policy and present his or her own thoughts, this is a difficult task. You have to move on the borders so that your ideas are presented, the work is attractive to the people and you stay within the restraints.”
In addition to taboo topics, there are the dress restrictions: how do you convey sex appeal or attraction in full hejab? No curves revealed, no hair to toss…it’s all in the eyes.
On stage since she was a teenager, the actor/director makes her living through her work in cinema, but her first love is theater.
“On stage, there is no one to help you, and the movement you make and the creativity is yours,” he says. “In that moment, you are the creator of what is being presented to the people, because the director can no longer interfere. The feeling of power you have acting on stage does not exist in cinema.”
She won the award for best actress in the competitive International Fajr Film Festival for her performance in The Red Ribbon, a film about a woman and two men whose lives intersect in the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war.
From the Interview
(translated from Farsi)
“In my opinion the freedom of thought and the deep freedom in reality is the insurance for cultural elevation.”
“With acting, you have to concentrate all your senses in a condition, in a time and place, and you want to present something and use all the abilities of your body to present it correctly. But when you’re not acting in your real life, your senses are free and in the proper moment with the proper conditions come and go, and the issue of the headscarf doesn’t affect you as much.”
“When I think about a play that I want to work on, my feelings overflow and I’m constantly in a rush to get to it as soon as possible, but there are many obstacles and they tire me out.”
On The Red Ribbon:
“The unique characteristics of this role are her independence, strength and freedom. This woman does not want to be under the control of any of these two men. She wants to live in the way she wants to, just as a human being with the right to live free and unconstrained with her reasons for happiness, while these two men constantly want to change her direction. This was the main focus of this role and the reason I really wanted to do it.”
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