The Salesman Iran
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Cast: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi
Runtime: 125 minutes
Showtime: April 30th 7:15 PM
Language: Persian with English Subtitles
Academy Awards: Best Foreign Language Film; Cannes Film Festival:
Best Actor, Best Screenplay; National Board of Review: Best Foreign Language
Film. Four other international awards, 18 nominations.
“It’s another of the director’s analytical but deeply empathetic films about modern Iranian society and what separates men from women and the government from its people.”—David Edelstein, New York Magazine
In his movies, Asghar Farhadi has the rare ability to take seemingly ordinary situations and build a web of intrigue and suspense around them. Such is the case with The Salesman.
Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) are a married couple who work with a local theatre group in Tehran, appearing in Death of a Salesman. One day, they are forced to re-locate after their apartment building collapses. A colleague suggests a place, but neglects to tell them about the woman who formerly occupied the apartment. Bad karma seems to permeate their new living quarters. One night Rana is attacked while taking a shower, which leads to a domino-like sequence of unpredictable events.
Even-tempered Ernad turns detective, then vigilante, while Rama fears repercussions in light of Iran’s strict theocratic rules of behaviour for women.
Farhadi explores the dark side of his culture, especially involving male pride and the consequences of taking revenge. Discomfort is acute at every turn. This is Farhadi’s specialty, and The Salesman holds us in its grip from start to finish. It leaves us with the lingering question, “What would I do in a situation like this?”
Shooting in almost documentary-style fashion, Farhadi turns the mundane into the momentous. The message of the movie is how quickly civility can slip, along with the ground that suddenly becomes unstable, before your very eyes.
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