“Fifth Avenue”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film With Exiled Pakistani Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed By Sofian Khan (2015)

“Fifth Avenue” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Exiled Pakistani Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed By Sofian Khan.

Directed by:  Sofian Khan 

Original Musical Score by:  Joshua Green

Cinematography by:  Bob Blankemeier

Produced by:  Capital K Pictures

Fifth Avenue A Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed by Sofian Khan 2015

Additional Film Footage by:  Madiha Aijaz

Sound and Mix by:  Evan Manners

Trumpet Player:  John Lake

“The poem “Fifth Avenue” is part of Hasan’s recently published collection of  Urdu and Punjabi poetry. Koel Shehr Ki Katha, released this year by Saanjh Publications Lahore, Pakistan.

The poem recounts one summer day when, sitting on 5th avenue in Manhattan, Hasan witnessed a parade of Hare Krishna devotees making their way down the avenue.  Amongst them, he saw a man who looked like Allen Ginsberg — one of Hasan’s favorite American poets.  Though it was not him, the sight of this lookalike gave Hasan an important thought.  If this American poet once journeyed to India in search of inspiration, why could Hasan, a Pakistani, not come to America and likewise find some spark of beauty to write from.  Hence began his journey to create this singular collection of poetry that fuses his new home with images of that which he left behind.”

Fifth Avenue A Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed by Sofian Khan

Excerpts from “Koel Shehr Ki Katha/Tale Of A Cuckoo’s City” by Hasan Mujtaba

(English translation by Manan Ahmed)

Amid the crowd of Hare Krishnas,

an old man who looked like Allen Ginsberg

Amid the riot of saffron color

the cymbals, the drums

whites, blacks, and rainbow colors

in June’s silvery light

silent, alone,

unique

as if he was the exclamation point of this whole philosophy

In the walking crowds of Fifth Avenue

I, a lost child

He, an old man who looked like Allen Ginsberg

Holding his thought’s fingers,

I walked far away

far to the lanes of Sehwan

“in public, I dance”

It seems a vision from a dream.

I take Fifth Avenue

I take the lane of Sehwan

Written on the shores of Indus, I take all of Rig Veda

I take Qur’an

I reject Chagai

I refute Pokhran

I deny the whole of Aurangzeb’s creations.

Home.

when I sing

songs of my exile

I return to my self

But they speak back to me

in the language of bullets

they do not read

what is written on the walls

“A donkey pisses on the General’s Uniform”

Those blood soaked lanes of Delhi

that naked Sarmad

Now your Gaze

Soils the purity of the Holiest, the Righteous

That woman inside me

These vines of grapes

That moon over Hudson

This silvery dusk over Indus

descends like revelation on a Prophet.

Fifth Avenue A Cinematic Poem Short Film on Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed by Sofian Khan 2015

Article on the film:  http://thewire.in/2015/09/14/video-seeing-the-universe-in-the-sands-of-fifth-avenue-10672/

Website: http://www.capitalkpictures.com/

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