In memory of Ne’mat Haqiqi
Traveling toward Eternity
by Mehrzad Danesh


Apart from few exceptions, standard and creative cinematography was lacking in the Iranian feature films made up to the early 1960s. Cinematographers were just simple technicians who were required to produce clear pictures. Therefore, cinematography was not an art, but a technical job. Ne'mat Haqiqi was one of the pioneers who put an end to that situation and turned cinematography into an art. When choosing the most memorable film pictures in Iran, both before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, an important selection will come from films in which Haqiqi was cinematographer or director of photography. He lost a long battle to a chronic disease on April 28, 2010. His death caused great sorrow among filmmakers as he was a kind person in addition to being master of cinematography and many Iranian stars wept in his funeral. Many writers and artists wrote memorial notes in various periodicals.
  Ne'mat Haqiqi was born 71 years ago and like most pioneer filmmakers, started his film career at movie theaters. The high school where he studied was close to Laleh-Zar Street (which was a hub of film industry of that time where many movie theaters were located). Therefore, it was a short distance from his school to a host of major movie theaters. As a young boy, he became so interested in cinema that decided to make it his profession. He dropped out of school, bought a camera and took photos of different places as his first experience in arts. He says, “After leaving school and at an age of 16, I started to take photos of flowers, candles and birds; I also took photos of houses, people and buildings. At 17, I was helping my father to make a livelihood. I was introduced by one of his friends to Farrokh Ghaffari; one of few educated filmmakers of that time who made two impressive social films in the 1950s. Ghaffari had just arrived from abroad and planned to form a group. Since he knew nobody, he chose his colleagues through friends. I met a cinematographer at Ghaffari’s office whose name was Nasser Raf’at. I started my career as cinematographer with him under conditions when I knew nothing about it.” ...

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