12 Dec The Script Lab – Director Asghar Farhadi Discusses His New Film: The Past *Updated With Review*
“Based on what standard, pattern or view can we call one’s conduct good and another one’s bad?”
Academy Award winning director Asghar Farhadi asked this profound question during a press Q&A session for his highly praised film The Past (Le Passé). Staring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa, Farhadi’s sixth film flips the family melodrama on its head. Set in a contemporary Paris, The Past explores Ahmad (Mosaffa), a man arriving to finalize the divorce with his eventual ex-wife Marie(Bejo). Four years since separating, Marie has began a relationship with dry cleaning business owner Samir (Rahim) and is pregnant with their first child. Meanwhile, children from previous relationships further add tension to an already complicated turn of events. According to the Iranian-native, The Past’s premise came from an unusual place.
While U.S./Iran relations remain notably nonexistent, director Asghar Farhadi surprisingly became an important unifier between both nations following his 2012 Academy Award win for Best Foreign Language Film with A Separation. Since the win, he’s has gone to become one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most influential People” and join 500 Iranian activist in a letter asking United States President Barack Obama to take steps in ending hostilities. Farhadi’s credibility as an advocate for change can be seen in his films that grab the heart regardless of geographical affiliation. That streak of compellingly human character studies continues thanks to French-language family melodrama The Past (Le Passé). From it’s gray opening to somewhat optimistic ending, this is a film that lingers on the mind days after viewing. It’s quite clear why Iran chose to have the film represent them at next year’s Oscar’s.