Law of the Director: Questioning the Unquestioned in Asghar Farhadi’s Movies The Beautiful City, Fireworks Wednesday and The Salesman

Ma’soome Sehat, Hossein Jahantigh


Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian Oscar winning writer and director, employs a bitter reality, i.e. the clash between tradition and modernity, as the main motif of his works up to 2016. His depicted characters always attempt to act rational, a prerequisite of modern time, but something traditional almost by an accident pushes them back, and as a result, tradition comes out as the winner. The key concern in this paper is to examine how Farhadi, apparently, tries to portray the Iranian society by exercising an objective stance to raise his fundamental question. The paper analyzes how he presents the challenge to his audiences’ judgment by letting them choose freely between modernism and tradition. However, the semiotic study of some of his movies shows his viewpoint is not completely objective and preference of one side over the other is apprehended. This paper seeks to prove that the author is inclined toward modernity in the titular three movies: The Beautiful City, Fireworks Wednesday and The Salesman, which the viewers might miss out on their first seeing of the movies.


Barthes, Farhadi, Modernity, Partiality, Point of View, Semiology, Tradition

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