Iran’s A Separation, a taut family drama, took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, after winning a series of other awards including the Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes.
A Separation, director Asghar Farhadi’s fifth feature film, revolves around a married couple, who is faced with a difficult decision — to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimers. Simin (Leila Hatami) is seeking to leave her husband, Nader (Peyman Moaadi) as she wants to leave Iran for a better life. The husband, on the other hand, wants to remain and care for his ill father. When Simin goes back to her parents, Nader hires a maid, Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to take care of the housework – which results in a cross-class clash after an incident that takes both families to a Sharia court.
In his acceptance speech, Farhadi referred to the current tension and talk of possible conflict between the Islamic republic and the West, notably over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme. “At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy,” he said, reading from prepared remarks on a piece of paper.
“They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or a film-maker, but because at the time when talk of war, intimidation and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.”
“I proudly offer this award to the people of my country; people who respect all cultures and civilisations and despise hostility and resentment. Thank you so much,” said Farhadi.
The movie beat rivals including Belgium’s Bullhead, Footnote (Israel), In Darkness (Poland) and Monsieur Lazhar (Canada).
Within a few minutes of winning an Academy Award, Iranians took to social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook, congratulating themselves on A Separation’s success at the Oscars, reported guardian.co.uk. “Imagine Iranians are now waking up to find the world is talking about its cinema and not about its nukes, for a change,” the website quoted an Iranian journalist as saying.
The Oscars were not broadcast live in Iran by the state media, but many Iranians watched it through illegal satellite dishes.
(with additional info from guardian.co.uk)
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ