Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) returns with The Salesman, a characteristically taut drama exploring how unexpected cracks can form in the foundations of a seemingly happy marriage.
The future looks promising for amateur actors Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) as they prepare for opening night on their production of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’. However, when dangerous work on a neighbouring building forces the couple to leave their home and move into a new apartment, a case of mistaken identity sees a shocking and violent incident throw their lives into turmoil. What follows is a series of wrong turns that threaten to destroy their relationship irreparably.
Winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, Farhadi’s study on the potent power of pride, guilt and shame treads the line between arresting drama and revenge thriller with masterful ease.
Asghar Farhadi was born in 1972. He made his first short film at age 13 in a youth cinema club and had made five short films before going to the University of Tehran to study theatre - a choice that would influence his filmmaking style significantly. After graduation, he continued his studies in stage direction at Tarbiat Modares University. Here he started writing radio plays and television series. After completing his masters degree, he started work immediately directing TV series he himself had written, A Tale of City being a typical example.
In 2002, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Dancing in the Dust. A year later, Farhadi made Beautiful City which went on to win the Grand Prix at the Warsaw International Film Festival. His next film was 2005’s Fireworks Wednesday. Two years later, Farhadi made About Elly which won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival.
After the success of About Elly, Farhadi started to write A Separation which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Golden Bear for Best Film, the Silver Bear for the ensemble of the actresses and the Silver Bear for the ensemble of the actors. This was only the beginning of a long list of prizes of over 70 awards internationally, including the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, the César for Best Foreign Film, and finally, the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
A Separation was an international success, unparalleled by any Iranian film. In France alone, the film chalked up one million admissions, the most widely-viewed Iranian film in that country. Later in 2011, Farhadi was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.
While A Separation was being screened in different festivals and countries, Farhadi and his family moved to Paris so he could start work on the screenplay of The Past, a story that takes place outside of Iran. The Past won the Best Actress Award at the 2013 Cannes Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe and César.
The Salesman had its premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Shahab Hosseini: Emad
Taraneh Alidoosti: Rana
Babak Karimi: Babak
Farid Sajjadihosseini: The man
Mina Sadati: Sanam
Maral Bani Adam: Kati
Mehdi Kooshki: Siavash
Emad Emami: Ali
Shirin Aghakashi: Esmat
Mojtaba Pirzadeh: Majid
Sahra Asadollahe: Mojgan
Ehteram Boroumand: Mrs Shahnazari
Sam Valipour: Sadra
Asghar Farhadi: Writer / director / producer
Hossein Jafarian: Director of Photography
Hayedeh Safiyari: Editor
Hossein Bashash / In memory of Yadollah Najafi: Sound
Sattar Oraki: Music
Alexandre Mallet-Guy: Producer
Original title: Forushande
Production year: 2016
Winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival - Asghar Farhadi
Winner of Best Actor award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival - Shahab Hosseini
Nominated for the 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar
Winner of Best Feature Film, 2016 London Iranian Film Festival
Official selection, 2016 Cannes Film Festival
“A restrained and masterful work with two strong performances at its heart”
Jo-Ann Titmarsh, HeyUGuys
“Farhadi remains a master of pace and tension, slowly upping the stakes in an unsettling narrative fuelled by a lingering sense of powerlessness, paranoia and the possibility that you never entirely know the person you love”
Allan Hunter, Screen Daily
“Farhadi has fashioned a dramatic critique of what he portrays as the Iranian male gaze — a gaze of molten judgment and anger. As a filmmaker, though, his gaze is true.”
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“Alidoosti turns in an affecting portrait of posttraumatic anxiety”
Mike D'Angelo, A.V. Club
“A knock-out finale that leaves the viewer tense and breathless”