|Re: Bani: My late, distant uncle who influenced my brother and me in cinema|
- Tuesday, August 27 2013, 2:04:36 (UTC)|
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I just watched an Iranian interview of Hanibal Alkhas... It's a bit too long of an interview for me to translate. But what a great man! His father went to Catholic School and was planning a life of priesthood, but left the Church after discovering Socialism, speaking highly of Lenin and his revolution. When Hani upon discovering Dostoevsky's THE POSSESSED, celebrating his unique find upon sharing it with his father, was surprised to know that not only did his father know of THE POSSESSED, but had read most of Dostoevsky's work... in the author's mother tongue of Russian. He recommended Tolstoy instead to his fourteen year old son, Hani... suggesting he wait a few more years to read Dostoevsky. His father grew up extremely poor, his grandfather died at an early age, and when Hani's mother was working around the clock, she found time to push Hani to pursue an education. So he ended up going to the U.S. to study at University of Loyola Chicago. He studied for three years under Jesuits in ULC. He was supposed to study pre-med. He never studied in his field of art; instead, he took philosophy and religion courses. He finally realized that to be happy he must follow his own path. So he wrote a "manly" letter confronting his father in rebellion against the family wishes of a career in Medicine. He left ULC and signed up for the Art Institute of Chicago. To Hani's surprise, his father's replied in a letter which Hani kept to the end of his life. His father simply wrote you're sensibilities are of an artist, not a docotor; and I'm happy you made he best decision in your life. He remained in Chicago for ten years completing his MFA and BFA... by which time his father died. He left for Iran, where his first art exhibit was painfully dedicated to his late father. He then began teaching art, opening the first art gallery in which future prominent Iranian artists and painters were his students. He named his gallery after the title of his late father's magazine: Gilgamesh. He left for the U.S. for five years, teaching art and humanities in Midwestern schools. Then a friend in Iran asked him to return and teach at a Tehran school due to his impressive credentials and artwork. He returned, taught for a few years, until the 1977-1979 revolution erupted. Great man! I remember in 2010 when he died. Iranians mourned his death more that his own "community".
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