Salesman, the Movie

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I watched the Iranian acclaimed movie, the “Salesman” about a week ago, I believe it is masterfully directed and performed. The sequence of events keeps the viewers interested at the edge of their seat until the end of the movie. It should not have been nominated for Oscar if it was not a good movie.

 As some of you know the whole movie is about the story of a husband, Emad, and his quest to find and punish the person who attacked his wife when she was home alone. The ordeal he has gone through to track down the attacker has been skillfully depicted by the director of this film. I am not of course artistically inclined and certainly no film critique. My question, however, is why Emad couldn’t simply report the incidence to the police and let the law enforcement officials handle the case professionally. And I also wonder if the movie sends a wrong message to some naïve viewers that it is ok to take law into your hands. This is a concern and not a criticism of this movie for I am not an expert, just for my own information. What do you think?



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Parsa Parsa (@Parsa) Pinned comment
I really like Farhadi's kitchen sink dramas. The interpretation of a film sometimes gets harder and harder when the film is made in a country like Iran. There are so many variables at play that no one will ever know. Making a film becomes a feat more than the actual film itself. Let's not forget this is a country that just banned a young girl from competing in a Chess Tournament for not wearing an Islamic scarf. This is a very mean place.
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Parsa Parsa (@Parsa) Pinned comment
This is what Anthony Lane from New Yorker wrote:

"What matters is what does not happen next. An American woman, taken to a hospital—as Rana is—to have her injury treated, would be asked about the circumstances, and law enforcement would be called. Not here. When Emad suggests going to the police, his wife demurs. “I don’t want to have to tell it in front of everybody,” she says, and her fellow-citizens agree that doing nothing is the smartest option. A neighbor tells her that, in regard to her assailant, “you’ll have to justify letting him in. There would be a trial and all kinds of stories.” So that’s it. The woman is the guilty party until proved innocent. Shame inflicts a secondary blow; reputations can be broken as easily as skulls. Western viewers, watching “A Separation,” which dealt with divorce and the care of an elderly parent, had to keep pace with an unfamiliar legal system as they went along, but the path taken by “The Salesman” is less public and more oblique. We don’t see a single cop, let alone a lawyer or a cleric, yet by their very absence we sense their clamp on society: a clever move by Farhadi, who shows nothing that could vex Iranian censors but whose intent is nonetheless caustic and precise."
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ashianeh ashianeh (@ashianeh) Pinned comment
Good questions, but considering Iran's current situation, I understand why. First and foremost, he had to bribe police chief handsomely in order for someone to follow-up on his case. Second, going after dissidents is their priority with no time left for cases such as this. Corruption is so widespread that without money no one gets anywhere.
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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ashianeh (@ashianeh) Pinned comment
I wonder if the movie implicitly endorse the Islamic idea of personal retribution especially when family honor [namoos] is at stake.
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to varjavand (@varjavand) Pinned comment
Is this macho vengeance, retribution nonsense only an attribute of Islam?
Remember that movie "Ghaisar"?
For years it was the most popular Iranian movie, and it was made in late 60's at the height of protest culture. Some have actually argued that "Ghaisar" was the most politically reactionary movie of 60's, mainly because how it glorified and sanctioned tribal violence.
Could machismo be categorized as a global characteristic of patriarchy?
More or less present in all male dominated cultures, practically for all eras.
BTW many Feminist critiques have been directed at the absence of a women's view and voice in "Salesman".
Farhadi is really great with psychological thrillers, he began as a scriptwriter. A masterful storyteller.
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