The Universalist (NYT Mag Profile of Asghar Farhadi)


Asghar Farhadi, the most successful director in the history of Iranian cinema, may have little interest in global politics, but global politics are interested in him. On Jan. 27, 2017, less than a week after “The Salesman,” Farhadi’s seventh feature film, was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language movie, President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, more commonly known as the Muslim ban. Under its terms, citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, Iran among them, were barred from entering the United States for 90 days — apparently the time it would take the new president to figure out “what the hell is going on.” For Farhadi, a connoisseur of human particularity whose nuanced, open-ended films about the cultural fault lines within Iran have been embraced by audiences around the world, Trump’s order was an offense both moral and intellectual. In a statement released two days later, he announced his decision to boycott the Oscarsand also alluded to the history of “reciprocal humiliation” that lay behind present-day American-Iranian hostilities. Given the circumstances (the collective punishment of an entire religious group), that “reciprocal” showed extraordinary equanimity — not that anyone who had seen the film for which Farhadi was nominated, a painstaking psychological inquest into the rival claims of reciprocally humiliated parties, would have been surprised.

Iran is 11 ½ hours ahead of Los Angeles (or, if you are going by the Persian calendar, 622 years behind)…”

Read the complete piece HERE

7 Responses to “The Universalist (NYT Mag Profile of Asghar Farhadi)”

  1. rahultyagi Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m a BIG fan of Farhadi and am looking forward to reading this piece.


    • I didn’t even realise he had a film releasing soon! Although I am a bit skeptical of the idea of a Farhadi film set in Spain, but with a director like this and a cast that includes Bardem and Cruz, how could one resist?!


      • rahultyagi Says:

        This is actually his last movie Qalandar. Already doing festival circuits since Cannes last year, I think. I didn’t think it was as great as A Separation or The Past or even The Salesman, but still well worth watching.


  2. I have heard great things about this film maker.


  3. A SEPARATION is a movie that I cannot forget; it shook me to the core – it revels not only Farhadi’s mastery over the cinematic language, but more importantly, the humanistic tendencies and explorations in him — something which we all really need to introspect…

    A gem of a film-maker..ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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