Asghar Farhadi Poster

Quotes (19)

  • I feel it's important to talk about the complex issues affecting us. I think it's insulting to an audience to make them sit and watch a film and then give them a message in one sentence.
  • It was in the theater that I learned how it is that you can work with actors. To give an example, I have a character in the film [Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011)] who's supposed to be a religious woman. Once the script is finished, I didn't find her and say 'You're going to be a religious character. This is what you should do'. In the few months remaining before shooting she would actually turn into a religious person. I asked her to pray promptly every day, meaning five times. I asked her to wear a chador which is the traditional long veil. I asked her not to use her personal car... to restrict her rapport with any men who were not known to her. And after a while of rehearsing this way she actually started to behave like a religious person. Don't worry, as soon as the film is over, she turned back into her former self.
  • Classical tragedy was the war between good and evil. We wanted evil to be defeated and good to be victorious. But the battle in modern tragedy is between good and good. And no matter which side wins, we'll still be heartbroken.
  • [on how Iran could consider submitting Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011), which deals with marital breakup in a Muslim family, for Oscar consideration] It's not a discussion that's linear - the government is this way, the people are that way. Within the government there's diversity of thought and taste. Some among them are much more open-minded, others are very closed. Perhaps what you're asking is, given the image that we have of the government which is so hard and full of censorship, how can you make such a film? That question would be like if you ask someone living in a desert, how is it that you can live, given the heat?
  • I like storytelling movies and more than that I like historical movies; and I think someday I'll definitely make a movie about the past 50 years history.
  • [Award acceptance speech after receiving the Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category for Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011) at the 84th Academy Awards] At this time many Iranians all over the world are watching us, and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award, or a film, or a filmmaker, but, because at a time of talk of war, intimidation, and aggressions exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture; a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country; the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.
  • [on being asked that if not being free while making a movie can help improve the creativity in a society] I would preferring not to blame the absence of creativity on the presence of freedom.
  • Each person makes their own choice, but my spirit is meant to stay in Iran, especially with the work that I do, and with the emotional connection I have with the country - with all its difficulties, this is why I stay.
  • I like storytelling movies and more than that I like historical movies, and I think someday I'll definitely make a movie about the past 50 years history (Iran's history).
  • I feel it's important to talk about the complex issues affecting us.
  • I gained a great deal from the period during which I worked in theater and I value those things a great deal.
  • I feel that it means a lot to the people of Iran that my film is represented at the Oscars, and it makes me happy to bring them that joy, that I'm representing them and that I'm able to give them that element of pleasure to be the envoy from Iran. It's a very pleasant thing.
  • I tend to jot down moments, lines, interactions that don't really make any sense. I try and explain these scattered notes to my close friends, and they become more and more logical. I see screen writing as a bit like a math equation which I have to solve.
  • [on whether he will make films outside Iran] It will depend on the stories that comes to me. I won't decide to go make a film in a country and then find a story; I will wait for the story to tell me where to go.
  • [on his writing process] All my stories are written in a non-linear way. They don't go from point A to point B. I always have several stories developing simultaneously and they come together during a shared situation.
  • I believe that the world today needs more questions than answers. Answers prevent you from questioning, from thinking.
  • [on why he focuses on family issues] When I base a story on a family it gives me a large possibility. Spectators all over the world have experience of families so this brings them one step closer to my films.
  • If you give an answer to your viewer, your film will simply finish in the movie theatre. But when you pose questions, your film actually begins after people watch it. In fact, your film will continue inside the viewer.
  • [press conference for Todos lo saben (2018) at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival] It is of course a thriller, that's one of its dimensions; for me this is more of an excuse however than anything else. It's a means to deal with topics that I believe are very important as a person. If I found myself in the horns of such a dilemma, what would I have done? What choice would I have made? These are questions I always ask myself. It's the father-daughter relationship - this is a very conventional subject in many books, King Lear, for example, and you also have the relationship within a family. Another important dimension in the film is the idea of belonging, property - it's the ownership of this land that's discussed in the film. Who does the land belong to? Does it belong to the original owner or the person who farms the land today? And what about the daughter? Is the father the person who conceived the child or the person who raised the child? It's a question of loyalty - belonging. This is linked to paternity. Is it the biological paternity that really counts or the education of the child? These aren't real subjects, but they're questions that are asked in the film.