The projection of the Iranian film The Salesman, on the night of the Oscars, February 26, is a strong response to Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The United States President banned Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) although this decision has now been suspended by US courts – and he certainly caused the strong reactions around the world. One of the reactions is the boycott of the Oscars.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced on Tuesday, a free outdoor screening of The Salesman – in defiance at Donald Trump’s travel ban. The Iranian film is up in the race for the Best Foreign Language Movie at the Academy Awards, but the cast and the director Asghar Farhadi have announced soon after Trump’s ban decision – that they will not be a part of the ceremony.
“The gathering of the audience around The Salesman in London would be a symbol of unity against the division and separation of people” stated Mr. Khan. He said that the free screening in London will represent “an international hub of creativity and as a beacon of diversity”.
The event will include actors and directors’ speeches, and expected audience goes up to 10,000 people in central London. One of the guests will be Mike Leigh, the British director, who already announced the big event saying that The Salesman director, Asghar Farhadi, is “one of the world’s greatest filmmakers”. The actor Lily Cole, the film-maker Mark Donne, and the producer Kate Wilson also confirmed their participation in the event.
“Londoners have always prided themselves on their openness to the world,” said London mayor Mr. Khan, “And what better way to do that than to come together to watch this powerful film in one of the world’s most famous public spaces.”