The Salesman

2016 | Drama | 125 minutes | Farsi with English subtitles


Emad and Rana are ordered to leave their apartment building as it was on the verge of collapsing. Fortunately, Babak, a friend in their acting group, helps them find another apartment. What Emad and Rana were not told by Babak is that the previous occupant was a prostitute. The couple, meanwhile, are busy acting in Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman. One night, alone in the apartment, Rana takes a shower forgetting that the front door is unlocked. A man enters and attacks Rana. While in the hospital, Emad finds out  the man who entered the apartment was actually looking for the prostitute not knowing she moved out. Rana returns home traumatized. She refuses to contact the police and to take a shower. She pleads with Emad not to seek revenge. But Emad will not be deterred. Pursuing every lead and clue, getting help from a police officer, the father of one of Emad’s students,  he zeroes in on the likely suspect. But in the process, Emad finds that his marriage may fall apart. 

Shahab Hosseini (Emad) / Taraneh Alidoosti (Rana) / Babak Karimi (Babak)
Why Stream This Film?
President Trump’s Immigration Order banned Iranians from traveling to the United States. Director Farhadi thus could not attend the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles. Also, conservatives in the Iranian government castigated Farhadi, labeling him “An Enemy of Iran.” The story has a happy ending: The Salesman won the Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language. Bravo!
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 96%
  • Metacritic Score: 85
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Film in a Foreign Language
  • British Academy Film Awards: Winner, Best Film in a Foreign Language
  • Cannes Film Festival: Winner, Best Actor (Shahab Hosseini)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Film in a Foreign Language 
    San Francisco Film Critics Circle: Best Film in a Foreign Language
Hosseini is impressive as a man who feels compelled to take action, regardless of the ramifications. And Alidoosti persuasively embodies Rana’s pain. THE SALESMAN suggests that we really don’t know who we are until we find ourselves in situation that we couldn’t possibly predict.
Calvin Wilson

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

With exquisite patience and attention to detail, Asghar Farhadi, the writer and director, builds a solid and suspenseful plot out of ordinary incidents, and packs it with rich and resonant ideas. Mr Farhadi has distinguished himself in this generation of Iranian filmmakers as an astute psychological realist and a fastidious storyteller.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

THE SALESMAN is a psychological and moral drama about how one man’s anger and damaged self-image drive him to the brink of destroying the very thing he ostensibly most wants to protect: his marriage.
Godfrey Cheshire


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