You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Iran uses Oscar win to bash Israel

Iranian state TV says Oscar win for 'Separation' a victory against Israel

ROME — Iranian state TV on Monday trumpeted the country’s first Oscar win, for Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation,” as a victory against Israel, which was also competing in the foreign film category.

The jingoistic dig came amid escalating tension over Iran’s nuclear capability.

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster (IRIB) said the award managed to “leave behind” a film from the “Zionist regime,” which is how Israel is often referred to in Iran.

Israel was in the running with Joseph Cedar’s “Footnote,” about a Talmudic scholar.

Javad Shamaghdari, topper of Iran’s Cinematic Agency, portrayed the Oscar decision as the “beginning of the collapse” of Israeli influence that “beats the drum of war” in the U.S.

Many in Iran watched the Oscars live via satellite dishes.

Nima Behdadi Mehr, a film columnist in the pro-reform Mardomsalari daily paper, said the nod “would help Iranian cinema to come out of its isolation.”

Farhadi, in his Oscar acceptance speech, said he hoped it would raise awareness of Iran’s artistic achievements and rich culture that has been “hidden under the heavy dust of politics.”

Interestingly, “A Separation” is an arthouse draw in Israel, where it was released by Shani Films at its seven Lev Cinemas on Feb. 9. Unspooling in its original Farsi with Hebrew subtitles, it has drawn 30,000 viewers, according to local reports.

The only other Oscar-nommed Iranian film is Majid Majidi’s family drama “Children of Heaven,” which lost out to Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful” in 1997.

Israel has scored four Oscar nominations since 2007 but has never won.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]


    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content