Asghar Farhadi ready to give up Oscars rather than be picked up by Iranian government

In an open letter published on his Instagram account, the famous filmmaker is moved that he can be accused of being “pro government” because his film “A Hero” was selected by the Islamic Republic to represent it at the next Oscars.

Rather shun the red carpet at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles than play into the Iranian regime’s game. Taxed as “pro government” by several Internet users since his film A hero was chosen to represent Iran at the next Oscars, filmmaker Asghar Farhadi said he was ready to give up the competition rather than undergo such a qualifier. He explained it in a long post on Instagram, where he states in particular, addressed to the authorities: “If the presentation of my film by Iran at the Oscars has led you to conclude that I am under your flag, I explicitly state that I have no problem rescinding this decision.”

“How can I be deceptively associated with a government whose extremist media have never ceased in recent years to destroy me, marginalize me, stigmatize me”, writes the filmmaker, obviously very annoyed. “I have explicitly expressed my point of view on the suffering that [l’État] imposed for years on the nation “, he assures, referring in particular to the repression of the demonstrations of 2017 and 2019 and the “Cruel discrimination” against women as well as the management of the health crisis.

“You confiscated my passport on several occasions and organized interrogation sessions”

Asghar Farhadi’s recriminations then take a more personal turn. The filmmaker reveals to have been subjected to direct pressure from the Iranian authorities and to have been repeatedly worried by the local police forces. “I have never had the slightest affinity with your attitude and your backslid ideas (although) I have never spoken of the persecution you have subjected me to until now. You confiscated my passport at the airport on several occasions and organized interrogation sessions ”, writes the filmmaker.

The filmmaker, who lives between Iran and abroad, has made the majority of his films in his country, notably “Un Héros”, Grand Prix of the last Cannes Film Festival, shot in Shiraz. He rose to fame thanks to “A Separation” (2011), chronicle of a divorce which had received the Oscar and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, the César for Best Foreign Film and the Bear. gold of the Berlin Film Festival. Asghar Farhadi has represented the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Oscars four times since 2009.

Reacting to his open letter posted on Instagram, the ultraconservative daily Kayhan “Deeply regret” that the state chose Asghar Farhadi to represent the country at the Oscars. “Festival awards and foreign investment have apparently changed Farhadi by (encouraging him) to paint a dismal and dirty image of Iran.”, judge the newspaper. On the other hand, for the reformist daily Shargh, “Farhadi’s image does not match those who praise him, nor those who blame him in Iran. He has always clearly expressed his positions on socio-political issues ”.


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