UK movie (tvm 1986). Dehlavi/Film Four International. Pr Jamil Dehlavi, Thérése Pickard. Dir Dehlavi. Spfx Special Effects Universal Ltd. Mufx Sula Loizou. Screenplay Raficq Abdulla, Dehlavi. Starring Suzan Crowley (The Woman), Peter Firth (Paul Bergson), Stefan Kalipha (Bilal), Oh-Tee (Master Musician), Nabil Shaban (Silent One). 90 mins. Colour.
Probably the most conceptually complex fantasy ever filmed, BOF is concerned with the legend of the djinn Iblis (> Genies), the only Angel who, born of fire, defied Allah's instruction to prostrate himself before Adam, born of clay, and was thus cast out. Ethereal Music is heard by both a flautist (Bergson) during a recital and an astronomer (The Woman) during a solar eclipse; after they meet she is plagued by apparitions and sees her Doppelgänger drowned in the bath. Bergson travels to Cappadocia, in Turkey, where years ago his father went to consult the Master Musician, an experience that killed the music in him. The Woman follows him . . . and there ensues the weaving of an intricate tapestry of Shapeshifting and Timeslips that defies summarization; dialogue, performances, cinematography, music and the spectacular geomorphology of the setting are further threads woven so that they become meaningless in isolation from each other. BOF is less a linear tale than a single event in which notions of causality and the Arrow of Time must be abandoned. The power of the movie is undeniable. [JG]