TEHRAN, March 2 (MNA) -- For many years, Iranian films have been warmly welcomed around the world, and Iranian people have become accustomed to see their national cinema in the limelight at international film festivals.

The fact that “A Separation”, which premiered in Iran with the title “Nader and Simin, a Separation”, won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony is a historic achievement for Iranian cinema since it was the first Iranian movie to win an Oscar.

Despite some inconsistencies between the film’s plot and the current social situation in Iran, director Asghar Farhadi’s drama is an important artistic work that certainly deserves the acclaim and plaudits it has received in Iran and other countries across the world.

However, the Western media, as expected, tried to connect the film and its international success to the nuclear stand-off between Iran and the West. In other words, they tried to give people the impression that the government in Tehran is infuriated with the film’s success in countries hostile toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

However, over the few past decades, Iranian officials have shown their enthusiasm for art and culture. Undoubtedly, Iranian cinema is the world’s most unique national cinema. This is actually the result of the Islamic Republic’s active policy to devise a new mechanism for the production of films since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

During the era of the last shah, especially from the 1950s to the 1970s, Iranian filmmakers only produced commercial films for the purpose of entertainment. Directors of alternative films, the most prominent genre after the revolution, had great difficulty establishing themselves in the country’s film industry due to the wrongheaded policies of the regime in those dark years.

Thus, “A Separation” is a product of the Islamic Republic’s well-established cultural policies of the past three decades, which have never been affected by politics.

Like many other Iranian directors, Farhadi enjoyed the government’s support and received an official license to produce his latest film in Iran. Even the political remarks the filmmaker made about some anti-Iran figures after the 2009 presidential election did not have any impact on his artistic status, and the Iranian government facilitated his presence at international film festivals and competitions, including this year’s Oscar awards.

Iranian artists and directors living in Europe and the United States have often complained about the politicized and highly commercialized atmosphere prevailing in Western art and culture. Not one Iranian director living abroad has been able to produce a masterpiece deserving international acclaim. This proves that cinema is flourishing in Iran and that the government supports the country’s artists.

In his acceptance speech during the Oscars ceremony, Farhadi said, “I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

“A Separation” showed that the West’s hostility toward Iran over the past three decades has backfired, to the point where an artistic work from the country received such a great amount of attention in the center of opposition to the Iranian nation. Thus, Farhadi’s success is a victory for all Iranians, including the people and the government.

Mojtaba Sadeghian is a Tehran Times columnist who is a member of the editorial department of the daily.


News Code 50279

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