Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest offering, The Salesman, portrays a couple tearing itself apart in modern Iran. The co-produced Franco-Iranian work won the Best Actor Award and Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and will be available in U.S. cinemas from Friday 27, January.
The Salesman deals with Asghar Farhadi’s preferred themes. First noticed for his 2011 movie, A Separation, the renowned Iranian director then chose France for the setting of his 2013 movie, The Past, about the breakdown of a couple played by Bérénice Bejo and Tahar Rahim.
The film maker is back in his element with The Salesman, which offers a metaphor for couples and the suffocating aspects of Iranian society. The movie follows a young couple of aspiring actors in Teheran, Rana and Emad. The story alternates between scenes from everyday life and rehearsals for a local production of Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, in which the pair play the leading roles. The couple are forced to leave their home following an earthquake, and stay with a friend from their theatre company. But one night, a man enters the flat and attacks Rana before fleeing the scene. Distraught by his wife’s trauma, Emad and decides to track down the man and avenge her honor at any cost.
Released August 31, 2016, in Iran (November 9 in France), the movie received contrasting reviews, drawing criticism from the conservative Iranian media for presenting a negative image of the country and of Islam, while enjoying immense success with the public. The movie even smashed records in Iranian cinematic history, earning 2.6 billion rials (78,000 euros). The day after its release, theatres had already scheduled extra showings to deal with the high demand.
The Salesman, a movie by Asghar Farhadi with Shahab Hosseini (Emad) and Taraneh Alidoosti (Rana), 2016. Persian language with English subtitles. French-Iranian co-production. 125 mn.