After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave for the first time an Academy Award to an Iranian film, the Iranian government used the occasion to have its state-run media bash the nation of Israel.
“A Separation” was awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film over an Israeli film and three others that were competing in the same category.
In his acceptance speech, filmmaker Asgar Farhadi expressed his hope that the award would assist in raising awareness for Iranian art and culture, which, according to the Oscar winner, 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,” Farhadi said.
However, the Iranian government-run media, via a television broadcast on TV station IRIB, indicated that the award was “leaving behind” a film from the “Zionist regime.”
The head of the state Cinematic Agency, Javad Shamaghdari, opined that the Academy Award would be the “beginning of the collapse” of Israeli influence that “beats the drum of war.”
Iranian hard-liners frequently characterize domestic films as being instruments that convey Western-laden themes and politically charged material.
Filmmakers and actors have at times been arrested or have been forced to leave the country.
In January 2012 the Iranian regime ordered to be closed the House of Cinema, an independent film organization that had been in operation for 20 years. Farhadi was one of the group’s members.
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