Art And Culture

Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’ Gets Free London Screening in Snub to Trump Ban

Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’ Gets Free London Screening in Snub to Trump BanFarhadi’s ‘Salesman’ Gets Free London Screening in Snub to Trump Ban

The mayor of London will join some of the leading names in British film at a free premiere screening of the Iranian Oscar-nominated film ‘The Salesman’, whose director was affected by Donald Trump’s travel ban.

On February 26 - Academy Awards night - Trafalgar Square will be transformed into London’s biggest open-air cinema for the first UK showing of Asghar Farhadi’s drama, hours before the Oscars are handed out in Hollywood, reported.

Top names from the British film industry, including Palme d’Or-winning director Mike Leigh, will address an expected audience of up to 10,000 in central London.

‘The Salesman’ is nominated for best foreign language film at the Oscars. Farhadi, who previously won an Oscar for ‘A Separation’ in 2012, said he would not attend this year’s ceremony even if he was offered special dispensation, in solidarity with those who had been affected by Trump’s travel ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, is organizing the screening, alongside the actor Lily Cole, producer Kate Wilson, and filmmaker Mark Donne, to coincide with the Oscars “to celebrate the capital’s success as a creative hub and beacon for openness and diversity”.

Farhadi said the Trafalgar Square screening had great symbolic value. “The gathering of the audience around ‘The Salesman’ in this famous London square is symbolic of unity against the division and separation of people.”

“I offer my warmest thanks to the mayor of London and the cinema community for this generous initiative. I welcome and appreciate this invaluable show of solidarity,” he added.

Leigh said Farhadi, who he has known since serving with him on the 2012 Berlin Film Festival jury, was “one of the world’s greatest filmmakers”.

“For those of us who make movies about real life, real people and real issues, he is a master, a true inspiration to all of us. We must show solidarity with Asghar and his principles, against divisiveness and hate,” Leigh said.

The London screening will begin at 4.30pm. The film production company Curzon Artificial Eye is also showing the film across the country on the same day.

Trump’s executive order, now blocked by the courts, has been roundly condemned by the international community and human rights groups.


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