SUBDUED RESPONSE FROM IRAN OVER GOLDEN GLOBE FOR A SEPARATION
The Iranian government has given a mixed response to the selection of A Separation as the best foreign-language film at Sunday night’s Golden Globes awards. Reuters quoted Ramin Memanparast, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, as saying that “those who run these festivals” often present awards to films about “the poverty and hardships of a country’s people” while ignoring “the glaring positive points and features of our nation.” (A Separation deals with a marriage break-up and its repercussions.) Accepting the award Sunday night, director Asghar Farhadi avoided any critical comment about the Iranian regime, saying only that Iranians “are a truly peace-loving people.” His comment was in sharp contrast to his remarks at the Berlin Film Festival last February, when A Separation won the festival’s top award, the Golden Bear. “I want to remind you of Jafar Panahi,” he said, referring to the famed Iranian director who was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films for making “propaganda against the system.” An Iranian news agency quoted a deputy minister of culture as congratulating Farhadi on his win at the Golden Globes. “Wise judgment has put his movie on the podium of the chosen ones,” Javad Shamaghdari said.