Animation “Wet Mirror” produced based on Attar’s story of Sheikh Sanan
Art and Experience:
Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) has produced an animation entitled “Wet Mirror” based on the Sheikh Sanan story from Persian poet Attar Neyshaburi’s “The Conference of the Birds”.
The animation is about an old miniaturist who has painted images of romance in his paintings for years, but all at once is trapped in a burning love for a young girl.
Director Amir-Hushang Moein says the animation is an adaptation of the story of Sheikh Sanan’s love for a Christian girl, who forces the sheikh to do things against his beliefs and religion.
“The seven-minute animation is made for adults, however, young viewers also will like the movie,” he said.
The original story from “The Conference of the Birds” is about a celebrated sheikh named Sanan, who went from Mecca to Greece and fell in love with a Christian maiden.
At her suggestion, he converted to Christianity. When his disciples heard about this, they came to Greece and prayed to God that Sheikh Sanan would return to the right path.
Due to the disciples’ prayers, he revived his Muslim faith and returned to his home in the Hijaz. Then, repenting of her deed, the Christian maiden followed him and converted to Islam.
Sheikh Sanan sensed that she had true faith in Islam and turned back to seek her with his disciples. When she saw Sheikh Sanan, she fainted and this made him cry. Later, when the Christian maiden recovered consciousness, she begged his pardon and died.
Attar’s most famous work, “The Conference of the Birds”, is an allegorical poem describing the quest of the birds, which symbolically represent Sufis, for the mythical Simorgh or Phoenix.
Finally, thirty birds that have survived the journey realize that they and the Simorgh are one, a clever play on the words Simorgh, a mystical bird in Iranian mythology, and “si morgh” meaning “thirty birds” in Persian.
Asrar-Nama, Mosibat-Nama, Elahi-Nama, Mokhtar-Nama, Khosrow-Nama and Tadkerat al-Awliya are among Attar’s masterpieces.