If you wonder which Iranian movie is the best in depicting Imam Hussein’s (AS) uprising, look no further than 'The Fateful Day'.
"I saw the truth in chains. I saw the truth in strong pieces on the earth. I saw the truth on top of spears."
The lines above are part of the most memorable dialogues of the film 'The Fateful Day' produced a little less than a quarter-century ago. No other film in Iran on Imam Hussein's (AS) Ashura has gone anywhere near in terms of importance and effectiveness, nor a screenplay like that of Bahram Beyzaei has ever been written about this uprising of the third Shia Imam.
Imam Hussein( AS) and his 72 faithful followers were martyred in the battle of Karbala. Ashura is the culmination of 10-day mourning ceremonies for this tragic occasion observed in Muharram.
The flick follows Abdullah, a young Christian who has converted to Islam. He’s madly in love with a Muslim girl and has asked for her hand over and over again. On his wedding day, he overhears some tribesmen questioning the intentions of Imam Hossein (AS) by going to Kufa. And then a voice calls on him to help. He abruptly leaves the ceremony and goes from desert to desert in search of Imam Hossein (AS) to put his doubts to rest. And when he reaches Karbala on the eve of Ashura he discovers the truth.
The lead of the flick, Alireza Shoja-Nouri, has said of the title, "I have seen some people who watched 'The Fateful Day' more than a hundred times. They have kept a copy of the film at home and watch it whenever they want. This film is not in a historical or religious genre and the viewer relates to it. When I watch the film again, despite acting in and seeing the film many times, it still moves me."
Late-great Iranian actor Jamshid Mashayekhi, who costarred in this film, considered the good writing of the director Beyzaei as the reason for the impressive role the flick played in Iran cinema. He believed, "To date, there has been no stronger writing about the event of Ashura" than that of Beyzaei.
He had said to local media, "The young Christian in this film understands the greatness of what the Imam did that many others did not understand ... we must understand the purpose of this great Imam and his companions as well as figuring out why he did not accept the offer and stand against Yazid. The film seeks to show this and find out the truth. I really liked my role in the film and although it was short, I was interested in its greatness."
Another actor in the film, Ezzatolah Entezami, who was a great thespian in Iran cinema also said in a media interview, "The impact of the flick was to the extent that just a few films or TV series have been able to be so effective. This film, despite its weakness in terms of characterization, is the only film that depicts the day of Ashura with a very beautiful story. Since our childhood, the days of Ashura and Tasua have been and will be remembered by all of us, and as soon as the name of Imam Hussein (AS) is mentioned, a complete change happens in our spirit and life. On the day of Ashura, I cannot sit at home and do not do anything. I just go out and watch the mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussein (AS)."
The Muharram ceremonies symbolize truth against falsehood and humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression.
Now, if you feel interested enough to watch this masterpiece, wait for a big surprise on ifilm in the coming days.