His film "The Salesman" is up for Best Foreign Language Film. He wrote, produced, and directed the movie, as he did for "A Separation" -- one of the best films a person could ever see -- which did win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. Farhadi makes films that stay with you. He's the kind of deep-thinking master craftsman Hollywood could use more of, not fewer. But even though "The Salesman" has a good chance of winning the Oscar, the producer/director/writer is not coming to the Feb. 26 event.
Here's a portion of the statement Farhadi released to the New York Times on Jan. 29:
"I regret to announce via this statement that I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards Ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community.
Over the course of the past few days and despite the unjust circumstances which have risen for the immigrants and travelers of several countries to the United States, my decision had remained the same: to attend this ceremony and to express my opinions about these circumstances in the press surrounding the event. I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection, for I know that many in the American film industry and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are opposed to the fanaticism and extremism which are today taking place more than ever. Just as I had stated to my distributor in the United States on the day the nominees were announced, that I would be attending this ceremony along with my cinematographer, I continued to believe that I would be present at this great cultural event.
However, it now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip. I would therefore like to convey via this statement what I would have expressed to the press were I to travel to the United States. Hard-liners, despite their nationalities, political arguments and wars, regard and understand the world in very much the same way. In order to understand the world, they have no choice but to regard it via an "us and them" mentality, which they use to create a fearful image of "them" and inflict fear in the people of their own countries...."
The statement continues; read all of it at the NY Times. Farhadi ends with this:
"I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations."
Here are Farhadi's fellow nominees for Best Foreign Language Film:
- "Land of Mine," Denmark, Martin Zandvliet, director
- "A Man Called Ove," Sweden, Hannes Holm, director
- "The Salesman," Iran, Asghar Farhadi, director
- "Tanna," Australia, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, directors
- "Toni Erdmann," Germany, Maren Ade, director
Pretty much everyone at Sunday's SAG Awards took a shot at President Trump for his new U.S. immigration policy, and Jennifer Lawrence -- who is pretty familiar with Oscars herself -- just posted her own statement on the 90-day ban of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen:
Farhadi's absence will surely be mentioned during the Oscars, which air Sunday, Feb. 26 on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
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