Sex & Philosophy


A movie by Mohsen Makhmalbaf about the meaning of time and love, Sex & Philosophy is indeed philosophical and sensual but may prove disappointing to those who should misinterpret its title.

Jan who turned 40, invited his 4 girl friends to his dance school as he has decided to start a revolution against himself into confessing to all his lovers that love begins from trivial events and that love has no meaning except that it happens. So he embarked on a journey of a heavenly love on his “solo” flight when he was the sole passenger after the terrorist attacks which resulted in the sharp drop in air traveling. The air-hostess who waved passionately at him since he’s the only passenger of the one-hour flight, served him hot coffee but gave him a cold look was his first love. And he timed and recorded his moments of happiness and came to understand that love is momentary, like a flame lit up or the short span of life of a butterfly that kisses its flowers when alive. Then his heavenly love ended in his realization of an earthbound existence, and instead, he began to follow the footsteps of a lady who dances as she walks.

The lady has never fallen in love but had men fell for her or rather her pair of white and red shoes that are not suitable for walking. Though she never loves crying, her tears flow when men left her and only when they leave will she fall in love, but was it for them or for Love’s sake, this, she will need to comprehend though it’s beyond comprehension for others other than herself. Yet through her, Jan has come to know that palpitations of the heart is what love is all about and the heart stops beating when love ends, so he always makes sure that his time tick at least for a minute in a year, meaning to say he should at least have a moment of love or happiness within a year for the stopwatch to continue to work and for the heart to continue to beat. 

But love is still all about a string of trivial coincidences, for if he has not suffered from diarrhoea, he will not have met the doctor who is capable of erasing all memories of love the moment it ends. Then his honesty to confess his falling for the ladies who taught him love each in their own ways has led to the honesty of the last lady who too has a similar confession to make, that of her falling for 4 different men. So no matter how cruel it may sound like, he then see how we are born to be alone, and solitude is what we have though love lit up to burn like candles from moment to moment. Our lives are made up of minutes, and minutes made up time; happiness can be short-lived, just as the butterflies will live and die all in the same day.

Jan ended his celebration of his birthday with a song performed by a blind artiste whom he met twice that day while driving on the road. And the man sang him a lovely tune with all his heart to commemorate the anniversary of Jan’s solitude. Happy birthday; Happy Solitude.


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