Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film Sunday at the 89th Academy Awards.
Farhadi won the Oscar for drama “The Salesman”, but said in a statement read on his behalf at the Academy Awards by Anousheh Ansari that he was not attending because of the disrespect the United States had shown seven majority Muslim countries who had been named in a travel ban earlier this month by the Trump administration.
“It a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time,” Farhadi said in his statement, and after thanking those who worked with him on the film, got down to brass tacks.
“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”
After pausing for the applause of those gathered, Ansari continued with Farhadi’s statement.
“Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war,” he said, adding that filmmakers create empathy, “and empathy we need to today now more than ever.”
After the ban was announced, Farhadi, 45, said in a statement: ‘I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection, for I know that many in the American film industry and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are opposed to the fanaticism and extremism which are today taking place more than ever.’
Farhadi’s film The Salesman was nominated in the Foreign Language category alongside Land of Mine (Denmark), Toni Erdmann (Germany), A Man Called Ove (Sweden) and Tanna (Australia). The film follows a high school teacher (Shahab Hosseini) who seeks revenge against the perpetrator who attacked his wife (Taraneh Alidoosti) in their apartment.
The director made awards history in 2012 when his film A Separation became the first Iranian film to win an Oscar.