Finally, an Oscar for the Thriving Iranian Cinema
I am sure many of you watched the Academy Award Ceremony as Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar for her superb film A Separation as the best foreign film. Let us take a look at Farhadi and the crew on the red carpet:
Prior to the Oscars, he had won the German and French major festivals as well as the Golden Globe. If you have not seen the movie, I hope you do as it will show you a side of the Iranian society which you are not likely to have seen. Here is the trailer
It is unfortunate that our popular media referred to the Oscar as a diplomatic victory for the Iranian regime. See the article on the Washington Post blog here. You can consider the movie a victory for the Iranian regime only if you had assumed that in the Islamic republic of Iran there were no real people living in normal human conditions possessing real voices. This film certainly changes that perception. Beyond that,however, there is nothing in the movie that can be interpreted as a political move in favor of any regime. Indeed, the Iranian officials have complained about the focus of the movie being on a family conflict and divorce. Furthermore, Farhadi’s acceptance speech at the Oscars in which 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” could be interpreted as a criticism of possible aggression against Iran. But at the same time, it could be viewed as a criticism of the Iranian officials verbal aggression against other cultures. In this video, taken at a press conference in Germany, you’ll here Farhadi making candid comments about the subject of class conflict and divorce in Iran:
And here is Leila Hatami the leading woman interviewed by the CNN:
I just read that in Israel people lined up outside theaters to see A Separation. This was wonderful news for me in that the more nations see images of each other in real life contexts, the less they would be afraid of each other. At the same time, this is a tribute to the Israeli society not to sensor the film. If the situation was reversed and the Israeli film had received the Oscar, would the current Iranian regime allow its public screening in Iran? My guess would be “no.” I am addressing this issue in an article I am writing for a Persian website.
Mousavi: I have Not Changed my Position
In a rare phone contact with his daughters, Mir Hossein Mousavi started the conversation with “My daughters, I would like you to know that nothing has changed. I am fully committed to my previous positions.” Obviously, he feared that the conversation would be interrupted by the security forces who were listening. He also warned his daughters that the occasional phone contact they’ve had may be discontinued. Read more about the conversation here.
The Parliamentary Elections Today
While the Iranian official media was speaking of the participation of 65% percent of the electorate in today’s Parliamentary Elections boycotted by a vast number of opposition groups, the Minister of Interior reported the participation to be 34% until 7:00 pm. The voting time was extended four times which indicates the participation has not been to the satisfaction of the officials. The state run media, played a range of tricks to get the public to the ballot boxes including the false news of voting by popular figures such as the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami. While the news of his voting remains unconfirmed, the image published of him speaking to the reporters turned out to be an image taken from an earlier event! Take a look:
In less than ten minutes, the image was found on an a website dated three months earlier and reporting on Mr. Khatami’s participation in a memorial service. That image (below) is now being circulated:
Six Questions Reporters should ask of anyone Advocating Military Action against Iran!
There is an interesting recent article by Reza Marashi and Trita Parsi with the above title. I am so relieved that someone is asking substantive questions. Usually the question is “Is the Iranian government telling the truth about its nuclear objectives.” And the implied answer is always “No!” As if , the rest of the world politicians are going about revealing the truth about their objectives particularly with regard to security issues. Marashi is Director of Research at the National Iranian American Council and a former Iran Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of State. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, is the author of the new book Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy With Iran (Yale University Press, 2012), here.
Israel Displeased with Public criticism by U.S. officials of a Possible Israeli Attack on Iran
A recent piece in Haaretz (February 24) by Barak Ravid, reveals open tension between American and Israeli politicians over comments by American officials that a military move against Iran is a mistake, here.
US Agencies See no Move by Iran to Build a Bomb
This is one of those reports that is bound to make some happy and others unhappy. According to The New York Times piece by James Risen and Mark Mazzetti, posted here, the American intelligence community believes there is no evidence that Iran is moving toward building a bomb.
Fields of Dreams
I was looking for some soothing images from Iran. Something really far way from politics and conflict. And I run into a set of amazing pictures form Iran by Mohammad Emdadi posted on Iranian.com called “Fields of Dreams.” Here are two images from this collections:
And I absolutely loved this one!
Do look at Emdadi’s full collection here. And have a great weekend!