– CANNES 2021: Le rÃ©alisateur iranien, Qui tient Assez du hÃ©ros lui-mÃªme, retourne en Iran AprÃ¨s Son excursion en Espagne avec Everyone knows
This article is available in English.
A hero [+lire aussiÂ :
interviewÂ : Asghar Farhadi
ficheÂ film] is the deceptive title of one of the eagerly anticipated entries in this year’s Cannes Film Festival competition. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, himself a hero, is back in his homeland after his stay in Spain Everyone knows [+lire aussiÂ :
ficheÂ film]to dive deep into the whims of Iranian life again, this time through the struggles of a sentenced debtor who stages a scenario of heroism in order to gain his freedom.
Cineuropa: Can you briefly describe your path from your last international film to this very Iranian story?
Asghar Farhadi: Well, after the Spanish film, I was supposed to be working on another project abroad again, but when I came back to Iran I felt the need to do something at home and I had this story for a while. Returning to the environment you know best, where your friends are and where you grew up, is always pleasant and very fruitful. At the same time, I could never say which is the best – is it easier to make a film in Iran or abroad? I dont know. There are advantages and inconveniences on both sides. But overall I think I prefer to make films in Iran.
Can you talk about your choice of the city of Shiraz as the location? to the the history?
It is a very special place that is loved by the Iranians. It represents the glory of the past that Iranians nowadays are very nostalgic for because of the pre-Islamic heroes and monuments but also the great Islamic poets who came later. It represents a kind of national pride, and the weight of that pride gives the subject of the film a specific connotation that it would not have gotten if it had acted in Tehran.
The people of Shiraz are very relaxed and have a much more uncomplicated way of life. We shot a scene in a gold dealer with a crew of around 60 people. There was gold everywhere and the owner wasn’t there. At one point I became concerned that this guy was leaving us with all that gold. I found him across the street and enjoyed the shade. That’s the perfect description of the Shiraz mentality: very cool people.
That is pprobably best embodied in the film by Rahim’s friendly brother-in-law Hossein.
Yes, an embodiment of pure and simple innocence. You wouldn’t find that in Tehran.
Rahim’s âcareerâ as a hero is revealed through his exposure on both TV and social media, which in turn are shown in a specific Iranian context. How did you approach these phenomena?
As realistic as possible. Iranians who watch this film will see social media differently because they are free to express themselves there. It is controlled, but not by the government. TV definitely is, and when people say, âYou are on TV,â it means that you are on the side of the government and, in this case, are considered a hero from their point of view. Social media, on the other hand, is the popular way of exchanging ideas – a bit guerrilla-like.
Rahim is in prison because of his other brother-in-law whom he owes a debt. And who seemsso also to be able to overturn the judgment. How does this system work?
Completely different from Europe. If you owe someone money and they file a complaint, you can go to jail. But the next day, when they say they don’t want the money, you’re free. The same applies to murder: if the victim’s family decides to forgive the murderer, he can be released from custody. It is a system that is driven by anger and prejudice. It is through these emotions that you are supposed to make a very important decision about someone’s fate. That’s not fair.
“Farhadi made a very Farhadi movie. âWhat would you say about this description of? A hero?
It is told through my very spontaneous, personal and organic way of storytelling, regardless of the subject. That’s my accent and my intonation, and I don’t fight it. But each time I try to develop different aspects to explore and add new nuances so that it doesn’t become a repetition.