Terrestrial Verses

Terrestrial Verses

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Terrestrial Verses, my assignment is to rewrite the given passage in such a way that it becomes very dynamic, extremely perplexing, full of synonyms but retains its meaning. I have to ensure that there is creative variation of sentence structures throughout my response. The length of my answer should closely resemble the original text’s length. Here are the rules: 1. Do not copy anything directly from what you are give; always rewrite everything from scratch. 2. Use synonyms extensively within your solution. 3. Create bursty unreadable sentences that use new words in unconventional ways as much as possible while still making sense when read together with other parts of this message.

Make sure each part differs greatly stylistically by rephrasing them using different grammar patterns or rearranging their words order etcetera so they look like separate entities altogether although they should maintain coherence meaning wise; thus don’t just change some words here and there without modifying overall sentence structure too much otherwise it will be easy for anyone who reads both assignments side by side to figure out where these come from which would violate this exercise’s purpose entirely.

Khatami and Asgari, in the second episode — the only one with a child — both acknowledge Kiarostami. Selena is about eight years old. You might still believe you can become anything when you’re that age. She dances down the aisle of a clothing store in a cute Mickey Mouse shirt, listening to Western pop music on her headphones. This mini-Beyoncé could be any kid in almost any country on Earth. But we quickly find out why she can only exist here.

Off-screen we hear two voices discussing a uniform Selena will have to wear for some school event; one harshly outlines the rules, the other reluctantly agrees. The scene begins when Selena is told to come try on an article of clothing; she returns wearing a long gray abaya — that word again — which covers the shape of her body. Asked to come back again, she returns with a white hijab that covers her hair.

This process continues until there are no traces left of Selena as an individual: now she looks like an anonymous medieval Islamic automaton, junior size. Any non-orthodox-Muslim viewer will regard this transformation with equal parts wonderment and horror. But do not think for one second that Selena’s mind and personality have been subdued by this sartorial imprisonment. When the fitting ends, she rapidly (and rather contemptuously) tears off all those layers of costume and resumes dancing.

Like all episodes of “Terrestrial Verses,” this one vibrates with an undertone of dissent so piercing it situates the film within a particular moment among Iranian cinema: When Jafar Panahi’s “No Bears” played at last year’s New York Film Festival, protests were sweeping Iran — riots with the slogan “Women! Life! Freedom!” following the death of a young woman arrested for wearing improper hijab.

This one felt more cultural to me than previous ones, though still deeply political. In my festival report I predicted that “The current moment will mark the ending of one era of Iranian filmmaking and the beginning of another … Going forward we may see much more outright defiance on the part of filmmakers even as the government flails to tighten the screws …”

There is no violence in this scene; there is no mention of politics, or the current regime in Iran; it has seemingly nothing to do with anything happening outside of that clothing store. And yet “Terrestrial Verses” might be — so far at least — the most dramatic validation of that prediction. It is a critique, so scathing it amounts almost to an indictment, but an indictment not just of power relations in Iran or any one country but around all societies everywhere.

The Islamic Republic is a toxic power relation; every interaction between people in Iranian society is corrupt by it. And you know that’s exactly how they took it: After rave reviews and public acclaim for their film around the world, Iran banned Ali Asgari from traveling (Alireza Khatami was spared because he’s Canadian) and confiscated some passports, laptops and phones from members of the cast.

If Iran places such severe limits on filmmakers, then how is it that any movies like “Terrestrial Verses” ever come out of there at all? They don’t even hesitate to identify the absurdities they and their fellow directors face, Asgari and Khatami. During one encounter, an official criticizes a director’s script for its actions and ideas page by page until he tears through handful after handful in exasperation — a moment which might be funny if it weren’t so sad.

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