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Iranian Director Farhadi says his remarks were misconstrued


Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi whose latest remarks forced the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to revoke the production license for his film "Separation of Nader and Simin" broke his silence after a week, declaring his remarks were misconstrued.

Asghar Farhadi

"My remarks (at the award presentation ceremony at the 14th Iran Cinema Celebration on September 16) were both misquoted and misconstrued," he told the Persian service of ISNA on Tuesday.

During the award presentation ceremony, Farhadi had criticized Iranian cultural policy for isolating a number of prominent cineastes, including Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Jafar Panahi, Bahram Beizaii, Amir Naderi, and Golshifteh Farahani.

Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari had said that Farhadi's latest remarks forced them to make the decision.

The shooting of "Separation of Nader and Simin", which had begun in late August, was halted after Culture Ministry Supervision and Evaluation Office (SEO) Director Alireza Sajjadpur made the decision on Farhadi's film.

Farhadi was given a one-week opportunity to retract his remarks, but he refused to do so and consequently, the decision was made about his film, Shamaqdari said last week.

"This is not fair. Why were my remarks misunderstood? I respect the productions by those filmmakers but I had nothing to do with their politics and political viewpoints," Farhadi noted.

"I have always tried not to impose my personal opinions into my films and upon the viewers of my movies. If I meant to do so, why would I have made these remarks at the cinema celebration? There are so many international festivals with many interviews in foreign countries where political opinions have greater priority," he continued.

"Why would I choose the celebration here to publicize the opinions of those individuals who I only know through their cinematic works in Iran and not their political deeds," he said.

Iran's House of Cinema has been trying to mediate to resolve the problem but their efforts seem to have gone nowhere.

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