Touted as the biggest awards night of the world cinema, Oscar 2017 witnessed who’s who of the Hollywood gracing the red carpet in their glamorous looks. Amid everything, Oscars night was more talked about as filmmaker Asghar Farhadi declined his invite to the Academy Awards this year. Yes, despite winning the award, he rejected to be the part of the awards night after President Trump announced his ban on Muslims from six countries, including Farhadi’s homeland of Iran.
The filmmaker won Best Foreign Language Film for ‘The Salesman’ at the 89th Academy Awards. Iranian-American engineer and first astronaut of Iranian descent Anousheh Ansari accepted the award on Asghar Farhadi’s behalf and also read out his acceptance speech.
In his statement, Farhadi said: “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 of 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 been victims of aggression.”
He continued, “Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others, an empathy which we need today more than ever.”
Here is the speech from Asghar Farhadi on Oscar win acceptance, read by Anousheh Ansari
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) February 27, 2017