Much as Nafisi wrote about women in the early Islamic Republic struggling to obtain photocopied manuscripts of Western classics, banned by their newfound theocracy, Farhadi shows us how American culture exists in Iran. We see a family, in a home, surrounded by American cultural paraphernalia that the Ayatollah might damn as a sign of Western decadence. Christina’s World, recently deceased painter Andrew Wyeth’s piece of classic Americana, is prominently displayed in Simin and Nader’s house. There is a foosball table. A drawing of a Native American in traditional dress. A Christmas nutcracker. Simin and Nader’s daughter Termeh implants a cocktail umbrella on her school project diorama, in a country that is ostensibly without cocktails.
More important than the family’s Western knickknacks, we see Iranian people. And when you see people—not politics, but people—that may make it a little harder to go to war with them.