Amir Jadidi: «With Asghar Farhadi you learn cinema, but above all humanity»

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Amir Jadidi, leading actor in A Hero, the latest film by Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, appeared at a press conference today to present one of the favourites at the 66th edition of Seminci (after having won the Grand Jury Award at the Cannes Festival along with Compartment Nº 6, by Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen, which is also competing for the Golden Spike in Valladolid).

A Hero tells the story of a man who tries to do things correctly and finds himself up against a series of circumstances. But what happens to this man, as Jadidi emphasised, “could happen to anyone, because the protagonist is someone who’s in our shoes.” In this sense, the film talks about “what human beings are like, with their demons and their virtues, and how one can choose to do things well, or survive and take advantage of opportunities” with no scruples.

In the hands of Asghar Farhadi, A Hero becomes a veiled critique of a corrupt and intimidating state. Kafkaesque bureaucracy, the delirious functioning of the administration and laws, the prison situation, suicides in prisons, women and patriarchy… are some of the underlying topics that one can get a glimpse of in this film, although Jadidi explained that there will be no problems for the film to be screened in his country, Iran, where it will be premiered this last week of October. “There have been no problems with permissions; in fact, the only thing that is portrayed in the film is Persian culture. We Persians are like that, we need to know everything to see how we can help… As for the role of women, it’s not as it is depicted abroad, women are very important in Persian culture,” he said in response to questions from journalists.

Jadidi recited some verses in Persian to refer to the conscience of human beings. “There are many Persians who forget about conscience and prefer to live without it. I am in favour of living, but at the same time being able to sleep peacefully, even if I have to suffer.” And that is something that Asghar Farhadi also exudes, of whom Jadidi commented that “he really is one of the greatest directors in the world, and you don’t only learn about cinema from him. I would like to highlight his humanity, because as a human being he is an integral being, a real human being.”

Amir Jadidi also recalled another great Iranian filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami, “who has had such an influence on the young people of my country and on myself.” He added: “I could spend hours and days talking about Kiarostami’s influence on my country and the world at large. I was not able to work with him, but in my country we are very much aware of the great figures of the past in all fields, including the great poets. That’s how we young Persians are, we have to move forward by learning from the past, from our parents, from our elders. Everything we young people have is thanks to them, to our elders.”

A Hero will be screened at the Carrión and Calderón Theatres today Sunday 24th October at 16.00h, and tomorrow Monday 25th at 19.30h at Broadway Cinemas.

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