Two years ago, A Separation took Asghar Farhadi from being an acclaimed filmmaker in his native Iran, to a renowned figure in global cinema. The film won dozens of awards worldwide, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, in addition to Farhadi being nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Farhadi’s latest film, The Past, came roaring out of the gate at Cannes this year where it won two awards. It recently received Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Past begins with Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returning from Iran to Paris to finalize his divorce from his wife Marie (Oscar-nominee Berenice Bejo). He must confront her, her children, and her new love Samir (Tahar Rahim), whose wife is in a coma following her failed suicide attempt. Although the film begins with the promise of moving forward, the members of this fractured and reconstructed family must confront the well-kept and not-so-well-kept secrets of a painful past.
Sony Pictures Classics is releasing The Past in limited release on Friday, December 20th. In anticipation, I had the pleasure of interviewing Farhadi again, two years after our last conversation about A Separation. Here’s what Farhadi shared with me about constructing the narrative of this family, working in a language he didn’t speak, and crafting The Past.