Magazine article Screen International

Iran's Asghar Farhadi to Boycott Oscars over Trump Visa Ban

Magazine article Screen International

Iran's Asghar Farhadi to Boycott Oscars over Trump Visa Ban

Article excerpt

Asghar Farhadi told The New York Times on Sunday he will not attend the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 26 in protest over "unjust conditions" imposed by US President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration.

In a statement Farhadi, who won the foreign-language Oscar in 2012 with A Separation, decried "unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries", a reference to Trump's notorious ban on people arriving in the US from seven Muslim-majority countries including Iran.

The filmmaker issued a long statement on Sunday in which he outlined an elegant yet devastating attack on Trump's visa ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

The statement in full:

"I regret to announce via this statement that I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards Ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community.

"Over the course of the past few days and despite the unjust circumstances which have risen for the immigrants and travelers of several countries to the United States, my decision had remained the same: to attend this ceremony and to express my opinions about these circumstances in the press surrounding the event. I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection, for I know that many in the American film industry and the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences are opposed to the fanaticism and extremism which are today taking place more than ever.

"Just as I had stated to my distributor in the United States on the day the nominees were announced, that I would be attending this ceremony along with my cinematographer, I continued to believe that I would be present at this great cultural event.

"However, it now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip. I would therefore like to convey via this statement what I would have expressed to the press were I to travel to the United States. Hard-liners, despite their nationalities, political arguments and wars, regard and understand the world in very much the same way.

"In order to understand the world, they have no choice but to regard it via an "us and them" mentality, which they use to create a fearful image of "them" and inflict fear in the people of their own countries. …

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