Oscars 2012: 'Separation' director says Iranians care about Oscars
Though it was the middle of the night in Iran when “A Separation” was named the best foreign-language film of the year, Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi said he was confident many of the country’s people were awake to watch the telecast.
“People in Iran follow the Oscars a lot more than you think they do,” the filmmaker said through a translator backstage. “And perhaps the reason why they follow it this year so closely is because by every means it is a cultural event for them and they would like to hear the name of their country through culture.”
Farhadi said he hoped the prize would send a message to the Iranian people that “cultural activities are the most important factors that we need to stick to in Iran.” He was proud, he added, that the movie helped send a “clear” rather than a “vague image” to the rest of the world.
“What happens in this film is not specific to a region or geography, and perhaps this is the reason why this film is understandable to people around the world,” he added.
As for the Iranian government’s reaction to the film — about what happens after a couple files for divorce — the director said he was unsure of how they would respond to the award.
“The Iranian government is not unanimous at all,” he explained. "When this film was nominated, some were very happy and some were silent. To me, what matters is that the people of Iran are happy.”
— Amy Kaufman
Photo: Asghar Farhadi with his Oscar for best foreign-language film backstage at the 84th Academy Awards. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times.