The Film Museum of Iran (FMI) held a private screening of "The Past" with director Asghar Farhadi on Saturday evening. Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and a number of cineastes also attended the program, Persian news agencies reported on Sunday.
Speaking before the screening, Farhadi expressed his thanks to Khatami and his friends for attending the program and said that he feels happy watching the film with them in Iran.
Asghar Farhadi (right) with Mohammad Khatami
Farhadi returned home last week after he spent two years in Paris making the film about an Iranian man, who has ongoing domestic problems with his French wife.
"During the two years I spent living outside of Iran, I found that the similarities between Iranians and foreigners are greater than their differences," Farhadi said.
He said that the media intensify the differences by disseminating disinformation.
"The media have created the odd image the Western people have in their minds of us, and the vague image we have of the Westerners has been given by the cinema of the West," Farhadi stated.
He said that Iranians and the Western people are suffering from a false phobia of each other.
"One of the things I found out by making this film is how much they are similar to us in feelings and how we are similar to them," Farhadi noted.
He expressed hope that both peoples would overcome "the false phobia."
FMI Managing Director Mohammad-Hassan Pezeshk presented a poster for "The Past" autographed by a number of cineastes to Khatami. In addition, he asked Khatami to sign a poster to be displayed at the museum.
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