Iranians welcome Farhadi’s Oscar for best foreign film
Published 8:42 am Monday, February 27, 2017
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranians today cheered the choice of one of their own for the best foreign film Oscar, lauding director Asghar Farhadi’s boycott of the Hollywood ceremony for his film “The Salesman” as an act of defiance against the Trump administration.
Farhadi refused to attend the Academy Awards, announcing after the temporary U.S. travel ban was initially imposed last month for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries that he would not attend the ceremony — even if an exception was made for him. Iran was one of the seven countries affected by the measure, which has since been blocked from being carried out by a federal court ruling.
“The Salesman” — about a couple performing Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and their attempts to find peace and justice after the wife is attacked at their Tehran apartment — had become a rallying cry for immigrant rights after the travel ban.
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The six nominated directors in the foreign language category had put out a joint statement ahead of the award decrying what they called the climate of “fanaticism” in the United States and dedicating the award to the promotion of “unity and understanding” regardless of who won.
Film critic Esmaeil Mihandoost, who wrote a book about Farhadi, told The Associated Press that thanks to the boycott, the film director has now “more influence on public opinion than a politician.”