Parsis A Vanishing Race: Documentary


June 9, 2006

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Sorab Irani, a producer of documentaries and movies, informs us about a new very interesting documentary on the Parsis. Directed by Oorvazi Irani, this documentary tries to

the film medium is a powerful tool in our Information Technology Age to effect a paradigm shift in perception of a community, to help re-evaluate their relationship to history, to the world, to India and even to the tenets and boundaries of its own faith.

The biggest debate in the community today is not inter caste marriages, or housing, or any of the other issues. The biggest debate according to me is about the fact that will we exist a few years/decades down the line.

As Sorab informs us, the inspration behind the film for Oorvazi stemmed from

What is ‘Parsiness’? What is the Parsi identity? It was a matter of our proud history that Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest religions survived in India and flourished with the largest following in the heritage of the Parsis. The fire grew more intense and soon it was all consuming. What was being done to save this ancient race, its heritage, its way of life – was anything being done at all, by whom, how effective and affirmative was the effort.

In a communique, Ooorvzi elaborates about the film making process she would employ for this production

The camera records truth at 24 frames per second – for documentary filmmakers it is our central discipline. It will therefore be my sincere effort as a documentary filmmaker to put at center stage a free, thinking, and rational mind. Let us discover the truth taking along the entire Parsi community on the journey of self-discovery while the viewing of the film. The truth of the central issue will and must emerge from the material itself – will we vanish as a race – will we pull together – get out of our apathy and take affirmative action – what will be the course we need to set for ourselves – and finally will there be resurgence or will there be extinction – This will be the main concern of the film – the material will suggest the truth, the answer to the Parsis and the world community at large.

With regards the central issue of the film, as the director I will be totally non intrusive in the unfolding of the truth. The film as a structure will explore the question of ‘Parsis a vanishing race’ at three levels – emotional, intellectual and spiritual. The film will be rich in visual and intellectual content, it will explore inner mindscapes through the voices of the interviewees and real life stories, dramatically the film will juxtaposition external landscapes of the city and the villages, locations of Parsi pilgrimage and heritage sites, rare archival footage will also be used to bring the Parsi flavor of an era gone by. Creatively it will be my endeavour to lyrically bring across the Parsi ethos through the use of cinematic devices of sound, colour and music all orchestrated in perfect harmony.

Visit their website for more info and if you would like to help, contribute or proffer ideas on this project.