Asghar Farhadi, from Iran, had a good night at the 84th Academy Awards. He took home the award for best foreign language film for his flick, “A Separation”. Now, the Academy Awards aren’t legally shown in Iran, and since its rulers either ignore Hollywood’s existence at best or hold it as a wretched hive of scum and villainy at worst, their acknowledgment of the awards ceremony is (and this is understating) very rare.
Well, they broke the silence. Mostly to brag about Farhadi’s film’s win for Best Foreign Film. Interestingly enough, A Separation was competing with an Israeli film called Footnote, which makes the win all the sweeter in the eyes of Iranian authorities. Iran’s state-run TV praised A Separation for “leaving behind” a film from the “Zionist regime.”
The head of Iran’s Cinematic Agency lauded the Oscar win, calling it the “beginning of the collapse” of the Israeli influence that “beats the drum of war” in the US. In case you’re not picking this up, Iran is really really really excited about the film, particularly its political implications. Not of the film itself, but the “significance” of the win. In case you think Iran might be getting ahead of themselves on this one, you might be right, because there’s still a bit more irony to be had…
Turns out, Israeli audiences are chomping at the bit to see A Separation, with a strong 30,000 going to see it since the film opened in Israel mid-month. Why? Well apparently, Israeli audiences want to glimpse a human side of a country they have long reviled as bitter enemies. “It’s very well acted, exceptionally well written and very moving,” said one Israeli film critic.
Classic case of the administration wants war and the people want healing. And kind of encouraging, I dare say.
Have you seen A Separation?
I do highly recommend you do.