In a decisive choice to cap a tumultuous awards season among foreign films, Asghar Farhadi and “The Salesman” won for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night in Hollywood, California.
The award has garnered increased attention in recent weeks, with increased restrictions on international travel to the United States. Nominee Asghar Farhadi announced at the end of January that he would not be attending the ceremony. In a show of solidarity, the directors of all five nominated films released a joint statement, condemning a global uptick in nationalist ideals and reaffirming cinema as a safe place to express common humanity.
“Dividing the world into the ‘us and our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression,” Farhadi said via a prepared statement.
Word came earlier this morning that, had Farhadi and “The Salesman” won, Iranian-Americans Anousheh Ansari and Firouz Naderi were prepared to accept the award on his behalf.
Other nominees in this year’s category included Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann,” Martin Butler and Bentley Dean’s “Tanna,” Martin Zandvliet’s “Land of Mine” and Hannes Holm’s “A Man Called Ove.”