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Oscars 2012: ‘A Separation’ Director Pleas For Iran To Be Seen For Its ‘Glorious Culture’

28 February 2012 Huffington Post 14 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Iranian film "A Separation," delivers his acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards.

Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Iranian film "A Separation," delivers his acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards.

Oscars 2012: ‘A Separation’ Director Pleas For Iran To Be Seen For Its ‘Glorious Culture’

The director of the Iranian film “A Separation,” which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film Sunday night, delivered a heartfelt plea for the people of Iran to be recognized for their contributions to culture and not just for the harsh words exchanged lately between political officials.

“At this time many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy,” said Asghar Farhadi, the writer and director of the film. “They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or a filmmaker, 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.”

For the past several months, Iran has become a byword for threat and violence in much of the West, with Israel suggesting the country’s possession of a nuclear weapon would be grounds for war.

The U.S. has urged Israel not to take military action, and most American intelligence assessments still say Iran is not actively pursuing a nuclear weapon.

In a seeming response to war-like rhetoric from Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is often said to have called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” Farhadi added that he offered his award to “the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

As it happens, among the films “A Separation” defeated for the Oscar was an Israeli film, “Footnote.”

“A Separation” tells the story of an upper-middle class family living in Tehran and falling apart, as it struggles to balance its daily life with its competing desires to leave the oppressive society of Iran.

Even as Farhadi celebrated a different version of Iran being recognized at the Oscars, he also didn’t hold back in his critique about the regime there itself, accusing it of smothering “a rich and ancient culture…under heavy dust of politics.”

Farhadi’s extended remarks are below:

At this time many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or a filmmaker, 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. A rich and ancient culture that has been under heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this honor to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment. Thank you very much.

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14 Comments »

  1. Iran- a maligned country from an American/Western point of view (ideally, America should have no beef with them), but from a Turkish or Arab point, Iran is an understabably problematic country, but still, war is not the answer, neither are sanctions, which only serve to push Iran further into the Sino-Russian geopolitical sphere.

  2. It will be difficuilt to view Iran in this light, if she insists on producing nuclear weapons.

  3. Lee: Why? I detest the fact that Israel (or for that matter my own country of birth, the UK, or my adoptive country, the US) has a nuclear arsenal which will no doubt dwarf any that Iran might eventually accumulate for years to come, and uses its deterrent power not-so-subtly to threaten other countries. But that doesn’t stop me from appreciating that there are plenty of Israelis (and Brits and Americans) who make and appreciate wonderful, beautiful works of art, coming out of deeply rooted and “glorious” cultural traditions.

  4. Israel hasn’t promised to drive Iran into the sea, and obliterate all Iranians.

  5. Israel has to carry a big stick, and be aggressively ready to use it. Their neighbors do not give them much choice.

  6. I am against Islamaphobia, but the Islamic Culture here in the United States needs to educate their Brothers and Sisters around the globe. This is a diverse country where all faiths coexist together. Iran did have a great culture, seat of the PERSIAN Throne, but the People supported a revolution against the Shaw and like here in America, some of us were fooled by Republicans but once elected they did something else and could care less what the people thought. Religion is a deeply personal thing, but while you ask for respect and acceptance of yours, then its important to reach out to accept others. What is happening in Afganistan, over an accident, a printed book, bibles could have just as easily been picked up by accident. We are a WORLD WIDE COMMUNITY thanks to the internet. This is a good thing, but the down side is raw news flows in seconds all around the world. Right or wrong, we all have to hold our faiths more accountable than ever.

  7. Iran would still be a peace-loving non-extremist state if Truman never made the CIA and never booted out Moussadegh, and the fact that we STILL have a military presence around its borders is not helping Mr. “I hate Bush but I am still going to continue his nonsensical foreign policy” Obama.

  8. You have a country that constantly states its policy is to wipe Israel off the face of this planet. They are improving their missle systems and trying to develop a Nuclear weapon. They are begging to be attacked and it seems that the people in this glorious culture are going to be suffering quite a few deaths if they do not change their government and their policies fairly quickly. War may not be an answer Harrison but to Israel if they are able to end Iran’s nucluar ambitions using it, then, for them, it is an answer. I hope this ends well but Iran is painting Israel into a corner and Israel is not afraid to walk in paint any day of the week.

  9. Sorry for the misspellings I got a phone call and hit submit before I had time to check it.

  10. Criley
    Imnot saying lets all be violent but your talking about a government thats violated so many human rights regulations for its own benefit. At least 80% of Israels victims were innocent children, women, elderly and family men. Ask an Israeli soldier if hes ever met or actually seen from a distance a violent Muslim doing more than throwing pebbles. Ive asked, and i intend on asking in hebrew when i visit next time, theyll tell you no. :/

  11. Um. 1) I’m pretty sure that was Eisenhower 2) President Obama left Iraq months ago 3) The Kurds who are attacked by Turkey AND Iran, as well as Iraqis requested we stay to prevent another round of genocidal attacks from all three 4) If it were Bush, we would have attacked long ago.

  12. Western nukes have never been used as terror weapons. Iran will use them against Israel and the west. Radicals need to stop breathing all over the world. That would be a true modern day miracle from our lord and savior, Jesus Christ!

  13. @ChrisG: Fat Man and Little Boy?

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    Radicals? Like those whom demolish homes? Shoot reporters in the face with missiles? Crush girls with bulldozers?

  14. chris Gennett u r a perfect example of a christian radical.

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