Israelis flock to see Oscar-winning film produced in arch-enemy Iran

“It’s very well acted, exceptionally well written and very moving,” said Yair Raveh, film critic for Israel’s leading entertainment magazine, Pnai Plus. “Ultimately you don’t think about nuclear bombs or dictators threatening world peace. You see them driving cars and going to movies and they look exactly like us.” …

Rina Brick, 70, said she was surprised by the humaneness of the Iranian bureaucrats portrayed in the film. “Our image of how Iran works is less democratic than we see here,” she said. “The judge, the police, everyone behaves as if they are in a Western country.” Rivka Cohen left Iran at age 15. Now 78, Cohen said she was struck by Tehran’s modernity, which jarred with the image of black-clad women and religious conservatism that has become iconic of Iran. “I was surprised by the way people lived in their houses,” Cohen said. “Everyone had a fridge and a washing machine.” …

Moshe Amirav, a political science professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said he “didn’t stop thinking about the bomb the whole time” he was watching “A Separation.” “I said, what a contrast that we see this Iranian film with such admiration, and then when we leave we think about how they want to kill us,” Amirav said.

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