Read Asghar Farhadi’s Powerful Oscar Speech Condemning the Travel Ban

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Asghar Farhadi’s movie The Salesman won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film on Sunday, but the Iranian filmmaker was not present to accept it. Instead, he asked Anousheh Ansari to give a speech on his behalf, condemning Donald Trump’s executive order banning migrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.

Read the full text of Farhadi’s statement here:

It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran, my producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Cohen Media, Amazon and my fellow nominees for the foreign film category.

I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S. Dividing the world into the us and the enemy categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for regression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries in which have themselves have been victims of aggression.

Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy we need today more than ever.

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