'A Separation' Raises Better Hopes Among Iranians After Oscar Victory

Leila Hatami, Peyman Maadi

Multiple parties from Iran believe that the win of Asghar Farhadi-directed drama at the 2012 Academy Awards could ease the rising tension between their country and Israel or the U.S.
After winning the Best Foreign Language Film gong at the 2012 Academy Awards, "A Separation" seemed to raise hopes among Iranian people that the victory could ease the rising tension between Iran and Israel or the U.S. Multiple parties from Iran have expressed their wishes that the movie could alter Western perception of the middle eastern country.

In Southern California, which is one of the world's biggest Persian expatriate communities, plenty of artists made positive responses over the Iranian drama's win at the prestigious awards. "I think once Americans, they see that and they relate and they understand there is no need for wars and guns," an Armenian Iranian musician, Andy Madadian, told Los Angeles Times.

A Los Angeles-based director of documentary movie "Mystic Iran", Aryana Farshad, also voiced similar reaction over "A Separation" triumph. He said, "Every time there is the threat of war, intellectuals, artists, filmmakers always come to the rescue. The Iranian filmmakers, they're my heroes."

On the other hand, former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami wrote in an open letter posted in Aftab News, "This event is a clear hint that art, in its general meaning, and cinema in particular, are media that are able to help humanity to overcome aggression, enable us to bring our hearts closer to each other, and enable us to have dialogue among civilizations instead of conflicts and clashes."

Director of the Iran Cinema Organization Javad Shamaqdari, meanwhile, told Tehran Times that the victory indicated that "American judgment bowed before the Iranian culture and Oscar voters showed a different reaction to the Zionist lobby, which is escalating war."

Tahmineh Milani, director of acclaimed 2005's drama "Unwanted Woman" added the Oscar has built "national pride" that "revived hope in the hearts of all Iranians." An art student at Azad University, Erfan Khazei, said, "I feel fresh air in my lung. Now we are more hopeful about the future."

Multiple papers in Iran reported on Monday, February 27 that Iranian people were proud of their country's first ever Oscar win. Some authorities even claimed that "A Separation" triumph marked a big slap against Israeli's "Footnote".

"A Separation", which tells a compelling story about the dissolution of a marriage, has received multiple international awards before the Oscars. Upon receiving the coveted golden statuette, director Asghar Farhadi offered a touching plea about making peace for Iran.

"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, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics," he said. "I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment."

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