Critics of Hugues Dayez in Cannes: A hero, Asghar Farhadi, the best candidate for the Palme d’Or?

At this stage of the Festival, 16 of the 24 films in the competition, i.e. two-thirds have been screened and until last night, no favorites emerged for the Palme d’Or. But last night, the situation changed because we discovered the new film by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, entitled “A hero” which aroused a huge ovation in the large Lumière room with 2000 spectators applauding the team. film at the end of the screening.

To relocate the this filmmaker’s journey, we must remember that exactly 10 years ago, in 2011, Asghar Farhadi exploded on the international scene by winning theBerlin Film Festival Golden Bear, with a drama entitled “A Separation”, the chronicle of a divorce made difficult by the constraints of the Iranian regime today (he also obtained theOscar for best foreign film in 2012). In 2013, he shot in France another drama, “Le Passé” which was worth Berenice Béjo an Interpretation Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He then had the honor of opening the Festival 4 years ago with a film shot in Spain, “Todos lo saben”, “Everyone knows it”, which despite the presence of a star couple, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, had not really convinced.

And this time, he returned to his country, Iran, to shoot a new feature film that rediscovers the dramatic force of his best films.

5 images

Director Asghar Farhadi with his daughter Sarina and Iranian actor Amir Jadidi © John MACDOUGALL / AFP

Director Asghar Farhadi and his daughter Sarina Farhadi © Valery HACHE / AFP

Amir Jadidi, Asghar Farhadi, and Sarina Farhadi © CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

Who is the man of “A Hero”?

It is the story of a father divorced, Rahim, who is serving a prison sentence because he has not been able to repay a huge debt. In favor of prison leave, he accomplishes a fine gesture, he finds a satchel filled with gold coins and instead of keeping it for his own benefit, he chooses to return it to its owner. The local television seizes the case, Rahim the convict becomes a media hero, but he must quickly become disillusioned because he is suspected of having put together this whole affair to straighten out his image.

The strength of the film, and of Farhadi’s cinema in general, is that he manages to create a dramatic tension worthy of the best thrillers, while there is at home, neither crime, nor gunshot, just a formidable crescendo in the relations between the different protagonists. The film is inexorably gaining momentum, he describes both the distress of a poor guy plunged into a whirlwind that exceeds him, and the limits of an Iranian system where censorship and repression are never far away.

With this double advantage, Asghar Farhadi succeeds a film deeply rooted in its culture, and at the same time, quite universal. At this stage of the competition, no film more deserves the Palme d’Or.

The JP sequence

We want to thank the writer of this post for this amazing material

Critics of Hugues Dayez in Cannes: A hero, Asghar Farhadi, the best candidate for the Palme d’Or?

Hank Gilbert