Masoud Dehnamaki, Ekhrajiha’s director and a pro-regime filmmaker, is known in Iran as formerly a radical Islamist journalist and a pressure-group leader in the crackdown on Iranian democratic and secular uprising in late 1990s. He is a man who is not only suspicious about any recognition for Iranian movies abroad but also sees the Oscar nominations for A Separation as politically motivated.
“This is a bitter film,” Dehnamaki told The Daily Beast in a telephone interview from Tehran. “They created a face-off between this film and [my film] Ekhrajiha at the theaters. The BBC and Voice of America were supporting this film by claiming that one of these films represented the rulers and the other represented the opposition. All of this was done objectively.”
“I think the hidden side of this story is that after the nuclear issue, the U.S.’s next challenge with Iran will be the discussion of human rights,” Dehnamaki said. “Giving a Nobel Peace Prize [to Shirin Ebadi in 2003], or an Oscar, and the way these recipients are created is symbolic, and all this is for using them during future challenges. This is the hidden part of the story that appears cultural on the surface but in fact it is political in essence.”