Backlash as Iran hardliners label Oscar favourite a ‘dirty picture’

It has picked up award after award, including a Golden Globe last month for the best foreign language film and the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlin film festival. And it has delighted ordinary Iranians grateful for some glory at a time when international tensions are rising and the country’s regime is ever more isolated.

But not everyone in Tehran is happy that Asghar Farhadi’s hugely successful work, A Separation, is now a racing certainty to win an Oscar for the best foreign film at this month’s Academy Awards.

The backlash was apparent on state-run television recently when Masoud Ferasati, an Iranian writer whose views are close to those of the Islamic regime, said: “The image of our society that A Separation depicts is the dirty picture westerners are wishing for.” Ferasati added that political motivations were behind the many awards for Iranian films in the past two decades, and said an Oscar for A Separation should not be welcomed by Iranians.

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