He is the Iranian director who made history, winning an Academy Award in 2012) for “A Separation”, which was a huge success around the world. The distribution of “The Past” in Australian cinemas, can be accredited to his “Master of cinema” reputation gained when “A Separation” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. He has gone from being more or less unknown outside his own country, to world fame in two years. International writers now refer to him as a “Master” film makerof the world.
In 2009 Asghar Farhadi was in Queensland, for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) at Gold Coast. His film “About Elly” was a major winner at APSA and on that occasion he had a script (which was “A Separation”) which he submitted to APSA/MPAA’s film development fund for consideration. The script of “A Separation” was recognized by the judges as a piece of brilliant work, and with $US25,000 n his pocket he returned to Iran to start on the film. He returned to Gold Coast again at the end of 2011 and once took away the Best Feature Film Award for “A Separation”…. the first of an astounding list of top awards, including Best Foreign Language film at both the Golden Globes, and the BAFTA Awards in UK, then finally The Oscar! I know that APSA is so proud of its part in this film’s gestation, and of contributing to cinema history,when Farhadi became the first Iranian ever to win an Academy Award.
So — now we have “The Past”, which he made in Paris. The setting of the story is there, and once again, it’s an excellent film, with another of his masterful screenplays.
The full plot sneaks up on you in a stealthy manner, as it slowly reveals deeper and more complex facts. Just when you thought you knew all the circumstances, you find you have to re-think the whole thing.
It’s very absorbing. The acting is wonderful. Berenice Bejo, stars as the French woman, whose life decisions have created this net of effects in the lives of others. She won a Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival, 2013 for “The Past”. She also starred in a previous multi-award winner, “The Artist”.
review and photos by Cynthia Webb