ICCNC: The Islamic Cultural Center of Northern Californi(ICCNC) commends Asghar Farhadi on the thoughtful remarks defending immigrants in his Oscar acceptance speech.
Come that we do not sow bad in the world,
Hand in hand we strive toward the good
Salesman, the new film by renounced Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, captured one of the most important awards in a film for Iranian cinema. Farhadi, who also received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, shows us that Iran is an artistic nation whose citizens desire peace and security.
At a time when Iranian citizens and the citizens of six other countries have encountered obstacles and difficulties stemming from President Trump’s executive order, this award holds special meaning. In particular, Mr. Farhadi decided not to attend the Oscars ceremony in protest against the order and joined his voice to the chorus of people in every corner of this nation who have been protesting orders of this stripe from the President. These executive orders have encountered opposition from a broad and united spectrum of the American public.
Mr. Farhadi chose two Iranians who are American citizens to represent him and one of them, a woman, to speak for him. It was a powerful reminder that he comes from the same land as these two people who have contributed greatly to America and found their place in the list of famous American personages.
Mr. Farhadi, whose film is inspired by a classic of American literature (Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman), proclaimed in an acceptance speech that was read by the Iranian woman he had chosen to speak for him that we shouldn’t let politics or lines on a map create distance between us. “Dividing the world into ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war.” He wrote, “Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions and they create empathy between us and others, an empathy which we need today more than ever.
The Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California congratulates Mr. Farhadi on his important artistic achievement and would like to extend our appreciation for his thoughtful support of Muslims, in particular immigrants from the seven affected countries. In spite of the Federal court ruling that halted execution of the executive order, those affected continue to struggle with the consequences. His gesture shows how far art can go to open minds and traverse geographical borders.