Asghar Farhadi has just arrived in Stockholm to receive a film festival award for particularly filmmakers. The Iranian director belongs to the small, selected actor Oscar, twice awarded in the non-English language category: 2012 for Extremely and Simin – Parting and partly for 2017 for Dealer.
You are reading one of yours now free articles on GP.se
His new movie Everyone knows is an intense dramatic thriller with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bard in leading roles that opened this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Simple and dramatic at the same time
Now it is presented at the Stockholm Film Festival, and the GP meets with the low key Iranian director, with his close observation, at the hotel in Nybrokajen for the evening award ceremony.
All of your films play in everyday situations in which people experience radical changes in life. Why are these living environments so important to you?
– Our everyday life is often very boring and there is something universal and recognizable in it. Dynamic situations arise when the invaders are violated, and you are forced to change. My movie Parting for example, it revolves around a very simple situation: a man and a woman who want to divorce. At the same time, it is simple and extremely dramatic. All my films are characterized by how everyday life and drama are intertwined.
Are you also very sensitive to the situation of women and it seems that you easily interpret and reproduce the everyday life of women?
– Yes, as I write a script, initially I do not think in terms of gender, it can be created during the process. When the role character turns out to be a woman, I try to enter it and really see the situation from her point of view. It must be my subconscious mind that helps me.
READ MORE: Review of the film Seller
Ashgar Farhadi emphasizes that in the native country of Iran there are women:
"At the moment, women from Iran are the most active and creative, they work harder than men and bear more responsibility." More women than men also study at universities, I feel that women think more about the future and men are more and more interested in the past.
Proud of Jil Mossaed
The fact that the poet Jila Mossaed, currently active in Göteborg, was elected to the Swedish Academy, makes him happy:
– I saw the interview with her and realized that she was chosen. Many of my countrymen who, because of the regime settling in other countries, have a difficult start and have to fight hard. The fact that Jila Mossaed is now being accosted at the Swedish Academy makes me proud of my heart.
Asghar Farhadi makes a gesture with his hand and adds:
– First of all because she is a woman. But also because it comes from Iran.
READ MORE: Jila Mossaed: "Poetry is like a brain attack!"
His colleague, director Jafar Panahi, was arrested and was unable to visit the film festivals in Cannes, Berlin and Venice, where his films took part in the competition and won the prize. Farhadi protested against this in Cannes last spring. He also boycotted the Oscar Gala last year due to Trump's ban on the use of Iranians and others.
Forced to deal with censorship
Even Asghar Farhadi was influenced by Iranian film censorship:
– Of course, I notice it. It helps me to think about how I express myself: less directly, more visually and in a way that viewers can fill themselves, use their imagination and perceptiveness. Censorship is like a rock immersed in a watercourse. This is an obstacle, but you usually find ways to move around in circles. Sometimes the obstacle may even stimulate innovation because new ways of expressing oneself have to be invented.
The rating varies depending on the movie.
– A movie that is ok. One day can be banned or censored. Like those who judge the reasons for the films, they are as unrelieved as the weather – says Asghar Farhadi.
"Oceans that are developing well"
She works with many women in key positions in her film team and says that more women than men currently work as film directors in their country.
"It's a global problem to try to improve the conditions for women in the film industry, #metoo will be in the long run to help create change, I think. But it will take some time.
Your movies almost always involve divorces and poor communication in pairs. Why do you come back to this topic over and over again?
Relations between people are such a rich subject, so incredibly interesting. It is like an ocean to be thrown away. As we fight, we are interested in everyone and we are awakening strong emotions. We have a particularly close relationship in the family.
What have you learned about your films in this area?
– Oh, I still have a new insight into the conversation with the audience. The most important lesson so far is that every character, every human being must be able to make mistakes and make mistakes. When we realize that we are not convicted ourselves, it is more difficult to condemn others.
Although Asghar Farhadi won a series of awards, including an Oscar, a golden bear and a golden hand, the vision of Stockholm means something special for him:
"I really appreciate the price a bit more because I think it is distributed in the home town of Ingmar Bergman in Strindberg's hometown, I will receive a prize in the shadow of these giants!
He was born in 1972 in Khomeyni Shahr in Iran.
Occupation: film and theater director, screenwriter and film producer.
Family: wife and two children.
Selected films: O Elly (2009), Nader i Simin – Separation (2011), Past (2013) and The Salesman (2016).
Current: with the film Everyone knows, as shown at the Stockholm Film Festival, where the director will also receive the visionary Stockholm award on November 9th.