Leila Hatami gave a very bold interview on French TV a few weeks ago where she was to promote Asghar Farhadi’s latest movie «A Separation» which has become an unexpected box office hit.
Leila Hatami interview with Laurant Delahousse on France 2 Dimanche ( Sunday Noon Edition) :
Official French Trailer of “Une Séparation”:
I was truly impressed by Leila Hatami bold stance and sincere responses all the more that I was Very critical of her director Asghar Farhadi's politically neutral attitude during the Berlin Film Festival upon receiving his Award for Best film ( See Related Blog). But whatever shortcoming that talented director had as a citizen, Leila Hatami truly compensated it on behalf of a suppressed Iranian film community with her recent bold interview on French Prime Time News. Beyond her breathtaking beauty, EXCELLENT FRENCH (She also speaks excellent German), I Salute her courage. She responded very openly to questions which could truly put someone in prison in Iran today. She was subtle without getting outright political or targeting the regime directly but her responses were clear and unambiguous ranging from support for the youth, her frustrations with the obligation to wear the veil,to Jafar Panahi’s predicament and the lack of freedom when outdoors in the country she loves. She explained that these restrictions prompts people from having to live in their homes and create their own inner schizophrenic lifestyle which contrasts like Day and Night with life outside. She told Journalist Laurent Delahousse ( clearly charmed by her charisma) that the most enjoyable experience for her in Paris was to feel the breeze of the Summer Wind in her hair. I was truly touched to tears by the kindness of her face, sweet smile and non arrogant wit. Truly a Great Lady.
Given all the arrests and intimidation imposed on Iranian actors and female stars in partcular who recently have been arrested (Marzieh Vafamehr, Pegah Ahangarani to name a few ) , my only wish would be that she wouldn’t go back to Iran and would try to work abroad very much like Golshifteh Farahani, Jafar Panahi or the Makhmalbaf family all of whom have been warmly greeted by the French film community.
In my view she would even be far more successful given that she is far more cultured and educated. It truly shows in her attitude. This lady is a Gem gifted with that rare charisma known as 'Star Quality'.
As for Asghar Farhadi’s undeniable talent as a director (Dar Bareyeh Elly, and Chahar Shabbeh Souri) and it’s talented cast, I can’t say that the film filled me with joy or enthusiasm. The subject like most Iranian films tackling with social issues is depressing but definitively does not leave the viewer indifferent. Personally I would just like to see less tears and gloomy faces and depressing subjects dealt in Iranian Cinema than what we have been fed with for the past 3 decades when it comes to my home country … but then I guess if Fiction is the last territory of supervised freedom which allows artists and filmmakers to reflect on the far more gruesome realities of life in Iran today, all we can do is accept their limitations and obsessions as artists.
That said whatever Leila Hatami’s ultimate decision in regard to her own career (to work or not in the current conditions in Iran) and which is respectable in itself what is certain is that as far as French moviegoers are concerned: A STAR IS BORN!
Iranian Pioneers in French New Wave Cinema by Darius KADIVAR
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