GCS  A Hero

Director Asghar Farhadi discusses A Hero

November 17, 2021 Special Projects Global Cinema Series Screenings in NY and LA
DGI LogoThe concepts of truth-telling, honor and the price of freedom are examined in Director Asghar Farhadi’s drama from France and Iran, A Hero (Ghahreman).

Farhadi’s film tells the story of Rahim, a man imprisoned because of a debt he was unable to repay. When he receives a two-day leave, he uses it to try to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint in exchange for paying back part of the balance. But things don't go as planned and Rahim is confronted with a crisis he would never have imagined.

A Hero earned Farhadi the Grand Prix Award, the François Chalais Award and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes festival. It was also selected as the Iranian entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the upcoming 94th Academy Awards.

On November 10, following the Eastern Region Special Projects Committee’s Global Cinema Series screening in the DGA’s New York Theater, Farhadi joined Director Ritesh Batra (Photograph) to discuss the making of A Hero. He also discussed the film in a conversation introduced and moderated by Global Cinema Series Co-Chair Victoria Hochberg (Bad Boy), following the screening in Los Angeles on November 17.

During the conversation in New York, Farhadi was asked about his directorial process with casts that include actors, non-actors and children and how he provides what they need as a Director.

“When I’m working, I can't really see myself from outside so I can only guess how I work,” said Farhadi. “Because my background is theater, we rehearse a lot before shooting the film. But not the cliché version of rehearsing where you put the script in front of you and start reading it. Most rehearsals, instead of helping the actors it helps me as a Director. I start to understand my actors and find out what kind of character the actor has. There are two kinds of actors: some you have to start working from the outside, like their body or their costume or this kind of stuff, and gradually that helps them to correct their inside; and some you have to start working with their mentality and start from inside and then their outside becomes correct. I very quickly at the very beginning of the rehearsal find out what kind of actor I'm working with then we program the rest of rehearsals based on this understanding. And most of the rehearsals goes to making a back-histories for the characters that we don't see in the movie, but it helps the actors act. For example, Rahim and his wife, where did they say meet each other for the first time where did they fall in love? For this film, we rehearsed for 10 months. Then when we went to the shoot, we didn’t have to talk about the basics anymore.”

In addition to A Hero, Farhadi’s other directorial works include the feature films Everybody Knows, The Salesman, The Past, Dancing in the Dust, Beautiful City, Fireworks Wednesday, About Elly, and the 2012 Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film winner, A Separation.


Q&A photos by Marcie Revens (New York) and Elisa Haber (Los Angeles) — Print Courtesy of Amazon Studios

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