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Cinema | 'A Separation' Wins Oscar in First for Iranian Film

27 Feb 2012 05:41Comments
FarhadiWavingMehr.jpg [ blog ] A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, won Iranian cinema's first Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, held in Hollywood Sunday night. Since 1956, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences instituted a regular, competitive award for the best feature-length film produced outside the United States with predominantly non-English dialogue, A Separation had been only the second Iranian picture to garner even a nomination, following Majid Majidi's 1997 film Children of Heaven.

Accepting the award, Farhadi said, "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 a 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 hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment."

A Separation previously won the Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin Film Festival and Best Foreign-Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards, as well as top honors from many critics' groups, including the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle. For more on the context in which the film was made and received in Iran, see this report by Tehran Bureau correspondent Ali Chenar. For appraisals of the film itself, see this review by TB senior editor and arts critic Dan Geist and this response by one of our regular contributors.

Copyright © 2012 Tehran Bureau

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