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Still shot of "Le Passé" by Asghar Farhadi.
Festival de Cannes
Iran has submitted the film, “Le Passé” by director Asghar Farhadi as the country’s Oscar selection for next year. But conservatives in Iran are angered by the decision, claiming the film has had too much French backing.
Iran’s Fars news agency, which is known to have ties to the country’s conservatives, has said that because Le Passé (The Past) received entirely French financing and was filmed in France, it should not be allowed to represent Iran.
Director Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar in 2012 for best foreign language film for A Separation, a film about an Iranian couple who struggles over whether to leave the country or stay to care for an aging parent.
But the Fars news agency says the two films by Farhadi should not be put into the same boat.
“Unlike 'The Separation', there is nothing Iranian in this film apart from a character who could have come from any other country," it said. "It would have been preferable to select a purely Iranian film like Dar-Band, which would have presented a more realistic image of Iran.”
Le Passé follows the story of an Iranian man (Ali Mosaffa) who returns to France to sign divorce papers with his French wife (Bérénice Bejo), after being away for four years.
Next year’s Academy Awards will be held on 2 March 2014, in Hollywood, California.