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hi michael,

I did not knew before that UV-light is also essential for our body to produce vitamine D. Interesting aspect, I have to include this into my PhD-project. So maybe after UV-exposure my TK60 cells are really better of, cause they finally get some vitamine D after spending weeks in the dark incubator ? ūüėČ And what do you say now: Last year you have been wondering why I prefer to walk home instead of taking the bus. I then told you it is just relaxing for me to let my thoughts float freely. Now it could be that intuitively I knew that it is good to spend some time out in the open to reconstitute my vitamine D reservoir.

I already saw the movie “Darbareye Ely” (what means “all about ely”) about two years ago, after it received the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin film festival. But I watched it again yesterday with Shava.

I liked the movie, although it was no easy entertainment. It had no Happy End, but a Tragic End. The story starts very relaxed, showing three young families (including Ahmad, brother of one of the women, who just came from Germany where he divorced) spending a weekend at a seaside cottage at the Caspian sea. The three families have the silly idea to bring together the lonely Ahmed with the baby-sitter Elly, although they know that she is engaged with another man in Teheran. Whereas all the three couples and Ahmed start to make stupid jokes about this plan, laugh about Ely when she is not around and all appear very superficial to me, Ely herself is much more closed. She is a girl with some mysteries, she keeps secrets and does not like the continuous jokes about the attempted matchmaking a lot. She tries to do the job that she was officially hired for: looking after the little kids of the three families. She frequently calls her mom, who is ill, and after one day she decides that it is better to return to Teheran. The three couples don”t want to let her go, they hide her luggage and her mobile phone. She says that she has to leave and would even walk home. The three couples and Ahmad ignore her and start to play Volleyball and go shopping. Ely helps the kids to fly a kite, but suddenly one of the little boys falls into the water and almost dies. The three man interrupt their game, suddenly get panic and jump into the sea, so finally the boy is rescued. But after some minutes they realize that Ely is missing. And suddenly, the relaxed relationship between the three couples and Ahmed turn into aggression and hate. Everybody accuses the others of being responsible for the disaster.

After one day, indeed Elys dead body is found in the sea: She obviously died while trying to rescue the little boy. The three couples now have to inform some relatives of Ely about the accident, and they can only find Alireza, the man to whom Ely was engaged since three years. They find out his telephone number and ask him to come, claiming that Ely is just ill. When he arrives at the site, finding out that she in fact died, he breaks down. The three couples don”t want to admit that Ely was only invited to this weekend trip to match her to the divorced Ahmad. They try to make Alireza believe that Ely was hired exclusively as a baby-sitter. So they want to get around the conflict by adding more and more lies on top of each other. You can feel how their only concern is to get away with their responsibility.

I think Asghar Farhadi, the movie director, tried to show that this practice of organizing relationships for somebody is bad. It is based on an arrogant belief that relatives know what is good for their son or brother or daughter, and they can easily find a suitable partner. It is obvious that Ely hates this, since she is not sure about her 3 year long engagement with Alireza. But the three stupid couples and Ahmad think, that they have the right to interfere with her emotions. They make impolite jokes about Ely, they lie, and they don””””t respect her privacy. They are to superficial to see, that Ely is full of doubts about her future, and that she does not want to be pushed into a new relationship. She has thoughts that are not for the public, emotions that she does not want to show around. At the end, this stupid idea of pushing two person together leaves behind two victims: a physical one (Ely, who dies) and a mental one (Alireza, who breaks down emotionally). The bad think is that the three couples continue to lie to Alireza although they see how much he suffers from Ellies death: They tell him that Ely knew from the beginning that the weekend-trip with the three families was intended to bring her together with Ahmad. By insisting on this lie, the three couples so cruel leave the mourning Alireza believe, that his girl-friend Ely was searching for an easy adventure with another man. But Ely, in fact, never agreed with this, she said she only joins the company to look after the kids.

I would like to hear what you think about the movie.

take care
/Mrs. F.

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Mrs. F. my Dear,

Tonight I went to see the movie “Darbareye Ely”. It was shown in one of the very small cinemas here, which are specialized on Arthouse movies.

Although you had told me already a lot about it before, it was nice to see it. After the first 5 minutes of the movie, however I thought that we might talk about two different things, cause it started so nice and relaxed, when they drove through the tunnel and all were just shouting for fun. And then they had this short stop-over at a small river, and I immediately recognised the russian Samovar, because we have exactly the same one (as part of a big collection of even older ones). And in the beach cottage, I recognised the old russain fridge, type “Wolga”, cause we have the same one in our cottage in Bulgaria. So initially I was a bid distracted by pictures, also had problems to follow the subtitles and at the same time understand the relationship between all the characters and their names (you should have provided me with a sort of set-list of all character and who is married to whom and which kid belongs to which couple). Anyhow, after a while I got the impression that all the seven characters are interchangeable, they looked differently but acted similar. The only exception was Ely, who was mysterious. When she disappeared after the accident with the boy I was hoping for about an hour, that she might not have died in the sea, but just left the place to escape the silly jokes and the attempted match-making. When she was eventually identified in the mortuary it was really sad and I was almost ready to leave the cinema.

Ely reminded my a lot of you, Mrs. F.. She was also calm and the exact opposite of the loud and superfiscial society around her. She had secrets, that she wanted to keep for herself. She had an aura of pride and aristocracy, which stoud in sharp contrast to the other characters who never thought about the right of privacy or secrets. It is a pitty that it was Ely who died in the movie. I so much wished to see her finding a new live, deciding about her own future, to stay strong and nice and get happy.

As usual , I wish you all the best, success with the project, happyness in daily life but also exciting dreams.

Take Care, Mrs. F..

Michael