Iranian director Asghar Farhadi says he will 'scrap decision' to represent country at Oscars
- Farhadi's 2011 film "The Separation" won both an Oscar and Golden Globe as best foreign-language movie
- In 2017, he won a second foreign-language Oscar with his work "The Salesman"
- He shot his last movie, "A Hero", a drama about a prisoner, in the Iranian city of Shiraz
Iranian double Oscar-winning film director Asghar Farhadi took to his Instagram to write an open letter making a scathing attack on Tehran authorities and threatened not to represent Iran at the next edition of Academy Awards.
"How can I be associated... with a government whose extremist media have not stopped these past years from destroying me, marginalising me, stigmatising me?" he asked on his Instagram page.
Farhadi's 2011 film "The Separation" won both an Oscar and Golden Globe as best foreign-language movie. In 2017, he won a second foreign-language Oscar with his work "The Salesman".
He shot his last movie, "A Hero", a drama about a prisoner, in the Iranian city of Shiraz.
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"I have explicitly expressed my point of view on the suffering (the state) has imposed for years on the nation," he said, referring to the repression of demonstrations in January 2017 and November 2019, and the "cruel discrimination" against women and the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If Iran's submission of my film at the Oscars led people to think that I'm under your flag, I state explicitly that it is no problem for me to scrap this decision," he wrote, ruling out any ambiguity on his stand.
"I have never felt the least affinity with your attitude and retrograde thinking, (even though) I've never spoken until now of the persecution you've made me suffer," said Farhadi, addressing authorities.
"You've confiscated my passport at the airport several times and organised interrogation sessions," he said in the comments posted last week.
After his post, some of the Iranian newspapers have aired mixed reactions.
"Awards at festivals and foreign investments have apparently changed Farhadi (by encouraging him) to give a gloomy and dirty image of Iran," wrote the Kayhan.
Newspaper Shargh defended the film-maker.
"Farhadi's image corresponds neither to those who praise him nor to his critics in Iran, and he has always expressed clearly his positions on socio-political questions," Shargh said.
The director's latest film, "A Hero", is scheduled for release in US movie theatres in January.