February 27, 2012, Los Angeles, CA – On behalf of all Iranian Americans, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) congratulates director Asghar Farhadi on winning the best foreign language film for “A Separation” during the 84th Academy Awards.
In his acceptance speech, Farhadi delivered a sincere plea for the people of Iran to be recognized for their contributions to culture. “At this time many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy,” said Farhadi. “They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or a filmmaker, but because at the 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.” Farhadi went on to state that Iran’s “rich and ancient culture has been under the heavy dust of politics” and proudly offered the award to the people of Iran “who respect all cultures and civilizations”.
An artistic jewel of a film, “A Separation” has been hailed by many prominent critics as the best movie of the year. It is not an overtly political film, but rather casts a spotlight on Iran’s contemporary culture, showing the social challenges faced by both a middle class and a lower-income family and their earnest attempts to work through them. Its power as a film derives from the fact that it does not manipulate the audience with Manichean notions of good or evil, right or wrong, but shows all protagonists struggling to make ends meet as their lives intertwine and the moral dilemmas all are genuinely trying to struggle through. It is a film with no heroes or villains, just normal people doing their best to deal with the cards they’ve been dealt with in life.
“A Separation” is the first Iranian film to win an Academy Award. It was also nominated for Best Original Screen Play, a rare honor for a foreign language film. In January of 2012, it won the 69th Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
PAAIA encourages all Iranian Americans to see this film at their local theaters. It is a masterpiece of contemporary Iranian cinema and will elicit important conversation within the community about some of the moral dilemmas of life in Iran.