(K. Brent Tomer),
THE last week of January was a whirlwind for Asghar Farhadi. On the 24th “The Salesman”, the Iranian film-maker’s latest movie, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (an accolade he won in 2012 for “A Separation”). On the 27th, Donald Trump signed an executive order barring Iranian nationals from travelling to America. On the 29th Mr Farhadi announced his intention to boycott the Oscars ceremony, regardless of whether an exception was granted. Practically overnight, Mr Farhadi and the cast of “The Salesman” came to embody the heavy-handed nature of the visa ban. But while their absence will be politically loaded, it also underlines the place of Iranian cinema in America: critically acclaimed, but largely overlooked in the mainstream.
According to the Guardian, around 100 feature films are made in Iran each year, a number on par with Britain. Yet only a handful enjoy limited release in America; nationwide release is rare. In the history of the Oscars, only three Iranian films have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film (“Children of Heaven” , “A Separation” and “The Salesman”); “A…Continue reading