Iranian 'The Salesman' Director Wins Best Foreign Film and Condemns Trump's 'Inhumane' Travel Ban
By John Boone
Asghar Farhadi may have been absent from the Oscars, but his words were certainly heard.
The Salesman director, who announced last month that he and his lead actress would be sitting out the Academy Awards following the visa ban on citizens from Iran and six other countries, won Best Foreign Film and a had statement read on his behalf decrying Donald Trump's "deceitful justification for aggression and war."
"My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.," Farhadi's statement said. "Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' creates fear."
"Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions," Farhadi's speech concluded. "They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever."
Last week, Farhadi as well as the directors of the other nominated foreign films -- Denmark's Martin Zandvliet, Sweden's Hannes Holm, Germany's Maren Ade and Australia's Martin Butler and Bentley Dean -- released a joint statement expressing their "disapproval" of the U.S.'s "climate of fanaticism."
"The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on - not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly 'foreign' and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better," it read.
"These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different."