which has won several awards in various international festivals and award ceremonies since its release last year, finally won its most-awaited nomination. The Oscar means a lot to many Iranians. However, just as the director said in his acceptance speech, winning this award was not the only reason for Iranians all over the world to be happy. The real reason is recognizing the talent and art of Iran in a time when politics and the threat of war are the only thing we hear about the country.
The moment Asghar Farhadi won the award and immediately after he gave his speech, Facebook, twitter, chat rooms and blogs exploded with messages of joy and happiness. Tehranis called for an evening of celebration in one of the capital’s largest public parks. Someone said winning the Oscar for Iran is like being called ugly all your life but then winning the Miss Universe contest. Jafar Panahi, an Iranian director under house arrest, thanked Farhadi for giving Iran a reason to be happy and hopeful again. A Persian tweet read, “Farhadi won the lost dignity of Iran back,” while another one said, “Oscar goes to Separation of people and government.” One Facebook status proclaimed, “Though his name is Asghar (meaning small) he is greater than any great person.” Still another one paraphrased a Hadith saying, "If you put a Golden Globe on his left hand and an Oscar on his right hand, he will still speak of his countries' great culture and people."
Of course there were people who were not happy for Iran’s first Oscar too. Some reports from Iran said that the Oscar is nothing but the Zionist plot or a drum of war beaten by the American government. And according to Balatarin.com, Fars News, a semi-national Iranian news agency, mistranslated Farhadi’s speech from dedicating his award to the people whose culture has been “hidden under the heavy dust of politics” to people “who are under attack over the recent dispute over the nuclear issue.”
And that’s how we heart Iran because only in Iran and only for Iranians a cinematic award stirs up love, excitement, hope, and even hatred and conspiracy theories.
Photo Credit: Davidlohr Bueso