In Marrakech, Asghar Fahradi says he is “full of hope” regarding the situation in Iran

WE WERE THERE – Guest of the Moroccan film festival, the Persian director cautiously engaged in the exercise of the masterclass while dedicating his first words and his cult film A separation to protesters.

Special envoy to Marrakech

Jafar Panahi (No Bear) is incarcerated in Evin prison in Tehran. Vocal supporter of protests against the Mullah’s regime, Mani Haghighi (Subtraction) had his passport withdrawn in early October. Iranian flagship directors, Asghar Fahradi, Oscar winner for A separation and The customeris one of the few to still enjoy freedom of movement.

His arrival at the Marrakech International Film Festival was particularly awaited. The Persian youth protest movement is not weakening. The filmmaker was accused of being too shy a critic of the regime by the actress exiled in France Zar Amir Ebrahimi. Asghar Fahradi agreed to engage, Thursday in Marrakech, in the delicate exercise of the masterclass in front of an audience of film students, directors and journalists for an hour-long conversation devoted to the career of the artist.

The director immediately wanted to evoke the elephant in the play. “I want to take this opportunity to salute my people and the courage of those who are fighting to take their destiny into their own hands. Like all Iranians, I am hooked on the news and tormented with sadness but also with hope. Because I know that this fight will succeed.he launched to applause.

The art of dodging

Asghar Farhadi, who called on his Instagram account to support the demonstrators, was cautious in his confidences on stage. Weighing every word and unsaid. When the moderator asks him why he preferred to shoot in France, with Bérénice Bejo and Tahar Rahim, The past and in Spain, with Penélope Cruz, Everybody Knowshe rocks : “I prefer to make my films in Iran but that’s not always possible. Turning elsewhere is never my doing“. Without going into more detail.

“Filming in a language you don’t understand means paying even more attention to faces, to musicality”. And to add: “It seemed interesting to me to make The Past in France because it is a country turned towards the future. Iranians live in nostalgia for the past, pride themselves on times past. The past is a story where everything happened before the first scene“.

Silence on accusations of plagiarism

The director is more talkative when asked to talk about his first time in dark rooms: “At 13, with a friend. We snuck out of the house. We got to the middle of the movie. On the way back, we were exhilarated. We were afraid of being reprimanded but I kept thinking about the part of the film that I had missed and imagining what was in it”. This is how his interest in the seventh art arose. In the process, he made a short amateur film featuring two children arguing over the ownership of a transistor radio and resigning themselves to joint custody.

“In my films, I have always tried to resolve the tension between realism and suspense. Daily life has a repetitive dimension and it is in the unknown that arises that anxiety is nestled. assures the one who claims a cinema that autopsies the social tensions of his country. It is only at the mention ofA separation that Asghar Farhadi allows himself a second and final allusion to the current revolt: “It was crucial to finish this work on the decision of the daughter of this couple in the middle of a divorce. Where would she choose to live? With his father who wants to stay in Iran? With his mother who wants to go abroad? The important thing is that it is up to her to decide. She is from this generation, that of these young girls who today refuse to have their lives dictated by their elders.

The director, on the other hand, remained silent on the accusations of plagiarism formulated by former students and relayed by the actress Golshifteh Farahani, cold with Farhadi since the filming ofAbout Elly. The controversy was not addressed by the host of the exchange. The lack of a question-and-answer session also did not allow the public to raise this question. However, the filmmaker then lent good graces to requests for selfies from film students in Marrakech. Before slipping away surrounded by many bodyguards.

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