Iranian film The Salesman on Sunday won the Oscar for best foreign language film, with director Asghar Farhadi skipping the Hollywood gala in protest at a travel ban by US President Donald Trump.
In a statement read in his name, Farhadi said he was staying away in solidarity with people “disrespected” by Trump’s policy, which is currently on hold after a decision by a federal appeals court.
Dividing the world into the US and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear — a deceitful justification for aggression and war,” he said in the statement read at the Hollywood gala by the Iranian-born US engineer and astronaut Anousheh Ansari.
“These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression.
“Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others — an empathy which we need today more than ever.”
It is the second win in the category for writer-director Asghar Farhadi, who previously won for 2011’s A Separation. He boycotted the Oscars in protest of the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Salesman is a thriller about a married couple’s attempts to find peace and justice in Tehran after the wife is attacked in her apartment.