Posts Tagged ‘Asghar Farhadi’

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.

Mir Hossein Mousavi: I am fully committed to my Positions!

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:

News and Image of President Khatami supposedly Voting today

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:

Khatami photographed in a memorial service 3 months earlier

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:

The lush nature of Northern Iran

And I absolutely loved this one!

A woman Shepherd from Southern Iran?

Do look at Emdadi’s full collection here.  And have a great weekend!




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Dear All,

Greetings! I hope your July is not too hot wherever in the world you are. I would like to open this window without further ado with the most important topic of the day.

The Latest on the Segregation in Universities

In the last window update I spoke about the latest danger to the women’s equal opportunities in Iran, namely the looming threat of setting gender specific classrooms (and perhaps ultimately separate universities in Iran). The topic which has been revived by extreme conservatives is not taken as seriously by all Iranian academics.  In some observer’s view, the return to this issue is in preparation for the parliamentary elections in December 2012. In other words, the hardliners are trying to appeal to their base, and by the same token, those who oppose the idea are banking on the fact that the plan is very unpopular, and practically improbable if not totally impossible.

While these readings of the situation may not be invalid, the threat to Iranian women’s equal access to first rate educational resources is so important that even a slim chance of segregation in universities must not be taken lightly.

Please Sign our Petition before Closing this Window!

Given the significance of the situation, a number of us (academics based outside and inside Iran) have written a letter to Iranian University Presidents and Administrators asking them NOT to allow the segregation to be implemented. The petition is on line and has already received hundreds of signatures from people all over the world. We are so pleased that the letters is turning into a global effort. Please go on line here now and support our letter to these Iranian educational authorities by signing the petition and sharing it with friends and colleagues you think would like to sign. We may have to send the letter soon, so please do it at your earliest convenience.

VOA Does a Special on Gender Segregation Plan for Iranian Universities

Fortunately the news media, which are followed by large numbers of listeners with interest in Middle Eastern Issues, are taking keen interest in this matter. Last Monday,Voice of America did a special episode in its popular program Ofogh “horizon” on this very issue. I was interviewed on the program. For those of you who like to watch the program (which is in Persian), the links are here and here. I have already received thank you e-mail messages from Iran.

In an interesting gesture, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed opposition to segregating men and women in Iran universities. Is he trying to win the hearts of the young Iranians? Well, he might. But is it not too little and too late? Read more about it here.

Pegah Ahangarani, the Woman who is no Longer Missing

After a week of being missing, actor and documentary maker Pegah Ahangarani called her family from Evin Prison today

Pegah Ahangarani was scheduled to be in Germany (July 4-12) to publish her personal coverage of Iranian women soccer players for the German Deutsche Welle. The day before her trip she received a call from Iranian intelligence authorities to the effect that she will be arrested if she goes to the airport. Even though Ms. Ahangarani cancelled her trip, she disappeared about a week later. Ironically, today after Ms. Ahangarani made a brief and nervous phone call to her family from Evin Prison, everyone felt relieved. At least, she is alive. Today Iranians who went to movies chanted slogans in support of Pegah Ahangarani and added a few “death to dictator”s as well before they left movie theaters. No one has been arrested in this connection yet. Click here to read about Gooya news report on the public support for her.

There is a Pattern Here

The same thing happened to Mariam Majd an Iranian woman photographer and sports writer recently. Photo Journalist Mariam Majd got arrested in her house the night before her trip. She has a special interest in women in sports and was similarly scheduled to be in Germany on June 17 to photograph the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was arrested by four man – believed to be security forces – who searched her apartment the night before and took her away. Majd was first believed to be missing until sources close to her family informed the media that she had been taken to Evin Prison. You can read about the incident and follow her story on the International Campaign for Human Rights here.  These woman participate in no subversive activity. However their powerful personal presence poses a threat to the regime and the ideal of piety and womanhood it tries to promote.

Iranian Movies Win Major Prize at St. Petersburg Festival

Despite the tremendous pressure on journalism and art to express no critical view of the current culture and politics in Iran, Iranian film-makers and journalists continue to produce lively art that has the courage to look at the social reality in Iran and elsewhere.

Asghar Farhadi's Nader and Simin: A Separation continues to win top prize in international Festivals

Farhadi’s film added St. Petersburg to its previous honors. Read more at Payvand News of Iran.

Visual Delight – Paintings from Aida Zoghi

Let’s close this window, as usual, with images of delightful paintings by an Iranian woman painter, this time Aida Zoghi.

Aida Zoghi born in 1973 received her B.A. degree in painting

 from Alzahra University. She has had person exhibits in Iran.

  The Paintings you see here are from 2003 and 2004

And, another oil on canvas from 2003 to close this window for us beautifully:

Have great week!



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