TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV has described the country’s foreign film Oscar win as a victory over Israel.
The Monday broadcast says the award won by “A Separation” succeeded in “leaving behind” a film from the “Zionist regime,” a reference to the country’s arch-foe Israel.
“A Separation,” a tale of domestic turmoil, competed in the Oscars’ foreign language category against the Israeli “Footnote,” about a rivalry between father-son Talmudic scholars.
Traditionally, Iranian officials are dismissive of international cultural ceremonies.
Iran has a long tradition of cultural achievements in cinema, literature and the arts. But clampdowns by hard-liners in recent years have included artists and others, forcing some to flee the country or work underground.
Speaking backstage after the win, director Asghar Farhadi said the win was important for Iran, but not for political reasons.
“I don’t think that government people are really interested,” he said, according to blog The Wrap, adding that he was “very happy about this award — and I believe that the Iranian people are also very happy and this is what matters to me.”