We often feel paralyzed when it comes to taking action on social issues, even when we feel passionate about them.
Common excuses are:
~ I’m only one person…
~ I don’t have enough information…
~ I don’t know the right people…
~ What would my friends/family think of me…?
Filmmaker, Bita Haidarian, probably felt all these excuses raise their heads but she stood up, faced them, and found solutions. That’s her in the picture but, from what I’ve found out, I feel it’s a parody of her—who she may have been before she found her Mission.
Her film, Finding Bibi, is best introduced by the words from the site that’s forming a full-blown Movement around the experience:
“Bita Haidarian, an award-winning Iranian American filmmaker fresh out of film school, sets off on a journey around the world to answer the big questions—who am I, where do I come from, and where can a girl find a good laser hair removalist?
“Born in America to Bahá’í refugee parents from Iran, Bita tells the tragic-comic story of her family coming to America, her childhood in Texas, trying to fit in, and competitive cheerleading—all part of the quest of a girl who knows more about MTV than Al Jazeera.”
The movie’s name comes from part of Bita’s search for identity—finding Mukhtaran Bibi, a Pakistani woman who suffered a gang rape as a form of “honour revenge”, a custom of local tribesmen. Also by custom, she was expected to commit suicide. “Instead, she spoke up, and using word of mouth, took her case to court where her rapists were arrested and charged.”
The introductory trailer for the upcoming movie is both educative and hilarious. Bita’s interviews with intoxicated fans at a football game, first in her American clothes, then in robe and veil, are at once humorous and chilling. When she goes to Pakistan and introduces her “Lower Your Gaze” glasses so men won’t be tempted to look at a woman’s face, she instructs while instilling trans-cultural good-will.
It’s all about spirited empowerment—irreverent respectfulness. In a word, Amazing!
“Through your letter to the Universal House of Justice of 14 January you requested a copy of a purported Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh on the subject of humour, and we are instructed to inform you that no Tablet by the Blessed Beauty on this subject is known. However, in a Tablet Bahá’u’lláh states that one of the Names of God is the ‘Humourist’.
“The Tablet mentioned above is revealed in the Arabic language. It has not to date been translated into English. Though it begins with the words, ‘In My Name, the Humourist’….it is a serious mystical poem, revealed in the form of a prayer. The text does not illuminate the reference to the ‘Humourist’. It is, however, interesting to note that, while dealing with an exalted theme, the language of expression is, unexpectedly, that of the common people —light, simple, and even colloquial.
The Universal House of Justice, 1997 Jan 12, The Humourist, p. 1
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