Need to know: The cinema of Asghar Farhadi ACMI presents

The Salesman

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“Less about a separation than a sundering…that opens up a chasm in a marriage… as compelling as anything Farhadi has made”

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The latest film from director Asghar Farhadi - awarded the Best Foreign Language Oscar at this year's Academy Awards - is a suspenseful and emotionally complex examination of mistrust, fear, guilt and revenge. With assured performances from its two leads – Taraneh Alidoosti (About Elly) and Shahab Hosseini in his Cannes-winning role – The Salesman is an unflinching examination of a marriage under pressure and the limitations of patriarchy and gender politics.

When their Tehran flat is damaged in the dramatic opening scenes of the film, Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Alidoosti) move into a friend’s flat, not realising the previous tenant was a prostitute.

When Rana leaves the apartment door ajar for Emad, she inadvertently lets a stranger into the apartment while she is washing her hair. The confrontation that follows opens a rift between the couple as Rana retreats into shameful solitude and Emad seeks redress.

Set against a local theatre group’s rehearsals for Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, in which Emad and Rana are cast as Willy and Linda Loman, The Salesman is a work of immense emotional complexity that stands firmly among Asghar Farhadi’s best films.

Asghar Farhadi joins Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman in a select canon of directors who have twice been awarded the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 

Screens in Farsi with English subtitles.