Arts Film Singapore

Film Fanatic: Asian Film Archive programmes ‘5 Films by Asghar Farhadi’ and ‘Releases – A Hero’

The Asian Film Archive (AFA) presents two programmes this season highlighting masterpieces by two-time Oscar-winning Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi.

The first of these programmes is 5 Films by Asghar Farhadi, featuring five films by Farhadi which are recognised for their tense social-realism and incisive look into the flaws of human nature. Running from 22 January to 27 February 2022, the films are screened exclusively at Oldham Theatre.

Transcending boundaries and achieving wide global acclaim, Farhadi is considered one of Asia’s most important cinematic voices. From his past works such as Beautiful City (2004) and Fireworks Wednesday (2006), to his masterpieces, A Separation (2011) and The Salesman (2016), Farhadi’s impeccably constructed narratives comment on class, gender and social mores in contemporary Iran.

Some highlights include The Salesman (Iran, 2016, Asghar Farhadi, PG), Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2017. Married couple Emad and Rana play the lead roles in Death of a Salesman, a stage play written by Arthur Miller. When their apartment starts to collapse, they hastily relocate to a new place where Rana is attacked by a stranger. As she deals with the trauma, Emad becomes obsessed with tracking down the assailant. The impact of this event rips and unravels their lives, along with their relationship.

Another featured film will be About Elly (Iran, 2009, Asghar Farhadi, PG) Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival 2009. Returning to Iran after many years in Germany, newly-divorced Ahmad goes on a weekend trip to the Caspian Sea with his former college mates and their families. The jovial atmosphere evaporates as Elly suddenly disappears on the second day, prompting suspicion and panic among the group.

The AFA will also be screening Farhadi’s A Hero (2021) as part of Releases, their programme dedicated to screening the best and most promising of contemporary Asian cinema, comprising critically-acclaimed films and festival favourites. In A Hero, we zoom in to the city of Shiraz, where Rahim, a mild-mannered calligrapher is imprisoned for a debt. While on a two-day leave, his lover hands over a bag of gold coins found on a bus. However, when the coins prove insufficient to his creditor, his mounting desperation to clear his name and secure his release unwittingly thrusts him into the limelight as he is caught in a confounding web of fame, deceit and moral ambiguity.

5 Films by Asghar Farhadi runs from 22nd January to 27th February 2022, while A Hero will screen from 21st January to 26th February 2022, both at Oldham Theatre. Tickets and more information available here

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