The Path of Zarathustra - A Film by Oorvazi Irani

Poster Release - The First Look of The Path of Zarathustra

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

The Path of Zarathustra, Movie Poster, Directed by Oorvazi Irani
The Path of Zarathustra - Movie Poster
Independent filmmaker Oorvazi Irani who has made riveting short films like the intense "The K File" and the surreal "Mamaiji" has recently released the first poster of her upcoming film "The Path of Zarathustra".  The poster is designed by Samvida Nanda. The movie stars Tom Alter, Rushad Rana, Shishir Sharma, Darius Shroff, Firdausi Jussawala, and is based on a screenplay by the renowned playwright and writer Farrukh Dhondy

Now, the poster comes across as a great enigma to me and I think it's by the maker's design. All I see is a dead body being dragged on a stretcher across a barren land. But, is the filmmaker merely interested in portraying the death of an individual? Or, is she trying to draw some symbolism? Does the film deal with the Zoroastrian community - an endangered species of believers? Also, the movie's title has a cryptic feel to it. It uncannily reminds me of the 1883 novel "Thus Spoke Zarathustraby the renowned German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. 

While Nietzsche's celebrated work can best be described as a parable on the "death of God," Oozvazi's film, as can be vaguely inferred from the movie poster above, too seems to be having an intimate association with death. Clearly, the filmmaker is trying to indulge us at an intellectual plane. She is definitely interested in serving her viewers with some serious food for thought. Now, that's what I call meaningful entertainment! I just can't wait to savor this piece of cinematic art. I would like to encourage you all to share your thoughts on the poster. Here are a few pointers from my side (you may come up with some of your own): 

i). What do you feel about it?  

ii). What does it mean according to you?

iii). How effective do you think it actually is in the propagation of its message?

I quite eagerly await your thoughts/opinions/views on the same. 

- Murtaza Ali

About the Director - 
Oorvazi Irani, , Director of the short film "Mamaji" aka (Grandmother)
Oorvazi Irani, the young and dynamic director of The Path of Zarathustra,  likes to introduce herself as an artist at the core of all the roles she plays which include being a filmmaker, a film educationalist, an acting coach, and a film critic. She believes each role significantly gives and takes from the others, creating a new dimension to her work which is challenging and at the same time very satisfying. She is the Director of her home media production company SBI Impresario Pvt. Ltd. incorporated by her father Sorab Irani in 1975. She has been involved with international critically acclaimed film projects and with her company projects - research, production, direction. 

  • As a film educationalist, she currently heads the subject of film at the ‘SVKM International School’, Mumbai and has been invited by various prestigious institutions to conduct workshops on film appreciation.
  • She introduced the “Michael Chekhov Acting Technique” to India with her dvd and also teaches the technique. She has been invited by Thespo at Prithvi, Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute to conduct special workshops on the acting technique and ‘acting appreciation’.
  • She has been actively involved in the research and writing of the recent international textbook on Indian cinema "Aan to Lagaan". She has written articles for film magazines, journals and websites including Dear Cinema, Silhouette, Film Buff, Madaboutmoviez. Her company is also the literary agents for Farrukh Dhondy in India.
  • She has been the Project Art Consultant for an international art group show “Unity in Diversity” - Cymroza Gallery, Mumbai - 2007

Filmography:

“The K File” movie Exclusive Online Film Release May 2012. Directed by Oorvazi Irani, Story and Screenplay Farrukh Dhondy, Produced by Sorab Irani. www.thekfilemovie.com

"The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique” presented, directed and researched by Oorvazi Irani, Produced by SBI Impresario Pvt. Ltd. - 2011.  www.oorvazichekhovindia.com  

Conceived, Written, Directed and Co Produced – “Mamaiji” (Grandmother) - 2011 

Associate Director "Lord Ganesha – The Elephant Head God." 1997-98

Head of Research and Assistant Director for the travelogue "Ramayana:  A Journey." – Commissioned by Channel Four Television, London  1995 -97


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41 comments:

  1. Murtaza, The poster looks really intriguing and I can't wait to discover what "the path of zarathustra" is about.

    I will go with the pointers you helped us with:

    i) What I feel about it I don't know why but the first event that I could relate the poster with was an aftermath of a war.

    ii) Another interpretation I could come up with is that may be this is about a tough path in a person's life, people have to deal with their issues themselves. that's what I figured from the leafless trees [the world, which is of no help], it's a tough world after all.

    iii) this looks like a serious piece of art and I can only say, I am really eager to watch this film.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your honest views, Amritt!!! :-)

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  3. It is a calm but strong poster for a motion picture.

    I would say calm because it seems the lady (or nurse) is sad but it is reflected by her posture that she wont let the cry out of her mouth in loud because the tide she is holding back is not fully potential. The one who died became dear to her in course of their life spent together

    The White clothing resemble peace they (or he) wanted to attain through the path of their loved religion, the Zarathustra.

    Rest assured, will sure check it out when the movie is live that how and to what level does this film give a jerk to the intellect,

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  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lalit!!! :-)

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  5. The poster is effective for the art house audience demographic which will be familiar with the Zarathustra reference.

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  6. Thanks for your response, Richard!!! :-)

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  7. You're welcome, Murtaza.

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  8. A unique and intriguing poster for sure. It has definitely piqued my interest. Another Ship of Theseus in the making?

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  9. The film's title immediately associated me with the book 'Thus Spake Zarathustra'. Unfortunately, I haven't read that book but I do know that it deals with death in some way. So, from that perspective, the visual of a dead person on a stretcher being carted away (to meet his Maker, perhaps?) piques interest. As do the muted, almost deathly surroundings, especially the stunted, lifeless trees and the barren hill at the back.
    I didn't quite make the connection of the title or the visuals with the tagline - 'Does every search for God end in love?' Why 'love'? I guess one will have to watch the film to know more!
    I wish Oorvazi Irani and her film all the success.

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  10. I think Nietzsche believed or said that if mankind tries to completely free itself from every beliefs -- spiritual and religious beliefs -- then humans may gradually move away morality and delve into nihilism. For a prolonged period, nihilistic attitudes only leads to chaos and hate. So, I think the search for God, spirit or soul would not only bestows us with morals, but also puts us on the path of love. I think this is what the tagline of the movie 'Path of the Zarathustra' tries to convey, although the question mark imbues certain ambiguity.

    I don't know if this film depicts the traditions of Zoroastrian community. According to Zoroastrian tradition, a corpse is something impure. I have read that the traditional Zoroastrians place their dead in 'tower of silence' exposing the corpse to scavenging birds and sunlight. Since the women is painfully pushing the corpse through a barren, mountainous land, may be it is to perform that ritual. Whatever it is, the image as well as tagline promises us that "The path of the Zarathustra" could be a provocative movie experience.

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  11. That's quite uncanny... thanks for throwing in that unique perspective!!! :-)

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  12. Quite an insightful comment... Thanks Rickie!!! :-)

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  13. Profound... thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! :-)

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  14. Amrit thanks for your interest in my film. And happy the Poster intrigued you, it was supposed to. I found your remark of the 'aftermath of war' as a fascinating perception. And Thanks a ton to Murtaza for reaching out to you all.

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  15. The pleasure is all mine, Oorvazi!!!

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  16. Lalit its nice to hear from you and yes the white palette( its an important colour for the Zoroastrians and also signifies purity) and clothes did intend to evoke calm amidst the drama of life and death and so happy both the aspects are perceived by you. Would welcome all you lovely audiences to experience the film and being the Director and Actor the film is part of me in so many different ways and its a joy to share.

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  17. Richard lovely to hear from you ! And feels nice to know that you agree that its an effective Poster for the Art house demographic. Thanks for your interest in my film.

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  18. I find that poster quite fascinating on several levels. The trees and ground in the foreground do resemble the sort of bombed out "No Man's Land" look reminiscent of so may WWI photos I have seen. The larger tree, to the right very much reminds me of Klimt's "Tree of Life", but it is bent and askew. I do not know if that was in any way intentional on the part of the artist, but the twisting and bending of what COULD be the "Tree of Life" plays intriguingly alongside the image of the body being pushed on the stretcher. If you are not familiar with Klimt's work, here is a link to the image so you can see what I mean:

    http://www.treeoflife.net.au/


    In addition, despite what can be described as an overall scene of desolation, the mountain in the background and the brightening sky above it are quite beautiful and full of life--ditto the bright white clothing worn by the two figures, standing in contrast to the trees, ground and gurney.There are, to my view, many contradictory, antithetical elements all playing together in the image which very much intrigues me and, frankly, makes me want to see what, exactly, this film is about.Not the least of these is the question posed "Does every search for God end in love?" In my understanding,Zarathustra's philosophy emphasized a search for and protection/maintenance of the truth as a path to God. A search for truth may, indeed not necessarily lead to love. I think the poster gives the viewer a lot to think about, which means, I am sure, the film does as well.

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  19. Thanks Martin for sharing those lovely and profound thoughts !!!

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  20. Martin its great to hear from you and thanks for sharing your encouraging response to the poster and thank you for the interest in my film. Its nice to know that you feel the poster is 'beautiful' and 'thought provoking' the the film does strive to achieve this too. Also for me the poster is a glimpse of the film's aesthetics and theme, but as you agree it need not be very simple and clear, it should create a mystery and want you to take the take the journey with the film to find the answers and i welcome you to come and take that journey as its a the audience that completes the film in a very special way.

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  21. Steve thank you for your beautiful response and appreciate your kind words and is encouraging to know that the poster is effective and evocative. Loved the reference to 'No Man's Land' . Also I am so happy that the positive quality of the image - the white palette and the orange glow in the sky was perceived and the total effect was thus as desired. Not stark and negative but minimalist, striving, painful yet full of hope. I would welcome you to see the film and its a joy to share it with a sensitive and heart and keen eye.

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  22. The poster reminds me of taste of cherry... both in conception and in practice.. but there the idea of death was explicit and the path was revolving around it as opposed to the present poster that depicts a barren land with a dead body being dragged across... In terms of aesthetics and beauty, the poster really stands out and the link and association with film can only be deciphered and explained after the viewing of the film itself... hope to have a good experience

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  23. i don't know much about the Zoroastrian Community, but the poster is intriguing.. the white all over, the corpse, and the setting.. perhaps it's a desert or a barren land.. it does make one curious... what is the symbolism about? tough life? life after death?

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  24. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Pratikshya!!! :-)

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  25. Sayamdev thanks for the feedback. Kiarostami is one of the Directors I admire and nice to find an association there in your mind. You are right the film is nor revolving around death, it is of course an integral part of the film story but the use of it as a Poster image is symbolic and has more to tell than the plot and is not the theme of death as in in its limited form. It would be nice to have a lovely audience with good taste share the experience of the film.

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  26. Pratikshya Thankyou for your interest in my film and nice to know that the Poster appeals to you and speaks of worlds and emotions you would like to explore and experience. I await your feedback after you see the film( after its release) and hopefully complete the story in your own special way. The film is as much about the Parsi community/ the Zoroastrian religion as it is about a universal human quest for God and love

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  27. Its looks very promising.. poster is interesting and creating a lot interest..Really very well designed and effective..lifeless trees in background tells a lot about us..I am impressed.

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  28. Thanks for sharing your views, Praveen!!! :-)

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  29. The first words that comes to my mind when I think of the word 'Parsi' are..'dwindling population'. Recently I read an article about a get-together they hold for arranging their marriages. Being an extremely minority group, they end being prior relatives of each other and hence they hesitate to come up with an agreement of marriage. But they should understand that while they believe that marrying outside their community is a reason for their decline in population, Non-Marriage is also a major reason for that. I think they shouldn't be so harsh on themselves, especially with the restrictions on their women and just let go a little. The above poster in fact reminds me of their decline in count. But Parsis are among the most jolly good nature humans, as I have found out...And I hope they remain so forever.

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  30. Anmol Thank you for your response and concern. Yes we are a dwindling community and this hit me way back in 2006 in a minority commission meet and urged me to want to explore the Parsi Identity and seek some answers ....that we might not exist one day got be thinking and feeling...hope my humble film helps understand the Parsi identity and raise an awareness about who were are. It feels really nice to know when as a community we are loved so much.

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  31. Amol Thank you for your response and concern. Yes we are a dwindling community and this hit me way back in 2006 in a minority commission meet and urged me to want to explore the Parsi Identity and seek some answers ....that we might not exist one day got me thinking and feeling...hope my humble film helps understand the Parsi identity and raise an awareness about who we are. It feels really nice to know that as a community we are loved so much.

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  32. Praveen feels nice that the Poster is effective and creates in the viewer. And thank you for your kind response.

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  33. Hi! Firstly, Congratulations on the film, Oorvazi. I do not claim to know much about the Zoroastrian community and it's good to expect a film on the same, which is away from the comic characters Bollywood puts out (oh, that horrible Shirin-Farhad film!) I am intrigued about the film from what Murtaza has written and possibly the only person here who wasn't impressed with the poster. It's vague - I guess that's what you wanted with the first poster. I'm hoping you'll have another poster with characters - who are the people I'm going to care about (remember the Iranian film, A Separation)? Now, the following comments may seem superficial but I'll still say:
    Maybe you wanted the colors faded but is it a thought provoking film or a depressing film? Someone mentioned The Tree of Life, good comparison but look at the lighting and colors on that one - it's also a thought provoking film and about grief, but the posters make you care a lot more (the tiny human foot). The main font, is there any significance with the community? If not, it looks amateurish (sorry). The tagline - too small to read and gets lost.
    I know I've been too critical here but I'm sharing what I felt. If it's irrelevant, please ignore :) All the best for the film and I hope to watch it once it's out.

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  34. Well its certainly an interesting poster for an intriguing film. I am glad Oorvazi decided to make a film on a relevant theme. I like the use of colour in the poster. As I have seen the trailer multiple times I think I do know the identity of the 'body' so won't comment on that :). White is significant for the Zoroastrian community (?),the skyline indicates twilight is around & the dead tree stumps add a touch of gloom.

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  35. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! :-)

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  36. i) The poster is certainly intriguing.

    ii) The

    poster on one hand represents pain and suffering to me(from the expression of the protagonist and the visible effort in pushing the cart). So in a sense it may
    represents the hurdles in the Path of Zarathrusta. The image of death, a setting sun, the leafless trees could also be interpreted as a symbolism for a dying
    community

    iii) If this is seen as a
    metaphor for a dying community, then the poster is very effective in
    putting the message through. The design is really good and should spark
    the interest of quality film lovers

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  37. Thanks for sharing you insightful thoughts!!! :-)

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  38. Shrey,
    Appreciate your interest in my film and the subject it tackles.
    I would like to share thoughts on the Poster and of course you should be telling me what you feel. But hope my response helps.
    The Poster is keeping with the aesthetics of the film most importantly the Minimalism and white palette. White as a colour is interesting and brings in various shades of meaning, I do not perceive it as dull but suggests purity, innocence, calm besides death and is also a colour symbolic of the religion in many ways. The image is not happy but is not completely depressing, the white and glow of the sun brings in calm and warmth. It is an image of a corpse and yes is signifying death and is dramatic and a unique image from the film, not very commonly seen. I had a choice between choosing an image that was pretty and an image that was intriguing and pushing the viewer and I chose the latter. There will always be perceptions which I different and that is the fun of art (if I may call this so)

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  39. Thank you Sethu for your belief in the film and nice to know you liked the Poster too, feels good.

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  40. Riddhiman
    Thank you for your sharing response and yes as you say in a way the image is a symbol of the dying community but is also a story point in the film. The film is not the story of Zarathustra though, its not his life story. But a contemporary journey which brings into play his lost code of ethics which O is on the path to discover

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Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.