Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian film director who on Sunday night won the Oscar for best foreign film for “The Salesman,” was not in attendance for the televised ceremony in response to President Trump’s policy on immigration. His official acceptance speech was read by Anousheh Ansari:
“It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time,” the statement began. “I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of [the] other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry to immigrants to the U.S. dividing the world into the “us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves have been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others between us and others, an empathy that we need today more than ever.”
“The Salesman” is still at Landmark Renaissance Place in Highland Park and Century 12 in Evanston.