Asghar Farhadi, the acclaimed director of A Separation, the winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, made his triumphant return to Iran yesterday. He was welcomed by a large crowd of supporters as well as official representatives of Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Guidance.
Upon arrival, Farhadi said: “The true appreciation of the Ministry of Guidance can only be expressed to me by reopening the House of Cinema.”
The House of Cinema, an independent body representing the film and cinema community in Iran, was recently shut down over a number of disputes with authorities.
Farhadi and his family arrived in Tehran from Paris yesterday and, after Farhadi announced that all his awards will be donated to the Museum of Cinema, he said once more: “The House of Cinema has to be reopened, there is no other way…. Be certain that it will be reopened.”
Farhadi refuted all rumours that he plans to emigrate from Iran, saying: “I will never emigrate and have no plan to do so. I will live all of my life in Iran.”
On the subject of his acceptance speech at the Oscars, and the expectation in some quarters that he would deliver a more charged speech, Farhadi said: “We must accept that the Oscars is not the place for political disputes but it is rather a cultural event. I said what I believed in and what I felt was beneficial to all the people. Definitely, if someone else was giving the speech, they might have said something else.”
He added that the kind of national unity that has been triggered by his film and its success has come as a surprise to him. He said: “Today the false separations that had taken hold between people have been reduced, and it is very fulfilling that people, despite their political differences, can gather together as Iranians.”