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Iranian establishment questions international success of "A Separation"

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Jamal Shurjeh

Iranian filmmaker Jamal Shurjeh, a staunch supporter of the Islamic Republic regime, has criticized the internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, saying Farhadi's latest creation is in line with U.S. and Israeli policies.

The Fars news agency reports that Shurjeh was addressing a meeting of "Youth for a Life in Faith" on the topic of youth and cinema when he said: "99 percent of foreign festivals are political, and Asghar Farhadi's film has been awarded by these festivals because it is compatible with the policies of American politicians."

A Separation by Asghar Farhadi has won international acclaim, most recently attracting Oscar nominations in two categories, best original screenplay and best foreign language film.

Jamal Shurjeh told the meeting: "If Farhadi was committed to Iran and its people, he should have announced that "A Separation" would not be screened in Israel."

Director Asghar Farhadi (L) accepting Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Film, with actor and screenwriter Peyman Moaadi

On Sunday, Iranian state media reported that A Separation is to be screened in Israel with Hebrew subtitles beginning February 16. The news has made Farhadi the target of severe criticism by the Islamic Republic establishment.

Jahan News wrote: "Although Farhadi has no role in the screening of his film in the occupied territories (Israel), the question remains: what concepts does Farhadi's film convey that are deemed acceptable by the Zionist regime to be spread among the residents of the occupied territories?"

A scene from "Nader and Simin, a Separation"

Jamal Shurjeh said in an interview with Daneshjoo News Agency: "The United States and the World Arrogance are after films that depict a weak Iran in the social arena, a bitter and dark Iran in terms of family issues, an Iran without social justice, job security and other kinds of security."

"Drawing international attention to such a film and the behind-the-scenes exploitation of it definitely is political, especially for the world of Islam and the countries facing revolution in the region," Shurjeh claimed.

Despite Shurjeh's criticism, A Separation has also been widely acclaimed by Iran's film community, winning top honours at the 29th Fajr Film Festival.

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