Turns out he is as painstaking and precise a talker as he is a filmmaker. I heard a story about a man who was going back to a woman after many years, to live under the same roof in order to get a divorce.
You’ve said that you think men are more burdened by the past. In most cultures, men represent tradition and women represent change and future.
Women, because of their ability to give birth, are more connected to future. In A Separation, the man wanted to stay in Iran, the current status, and the woman wanted to move to America, to make changes for her daughter’s future.
To me, round faces have more doubt in them than an oval faces like Berenice’s, so I tried to make her face more round by putting some makeup on makeup on her forehead and cheeks. I didn’t see cotton in her mouth — though how very Brando that would have been!
[Laughs.] We didn’t use the cotton, but the makeup artist applied makeup in a way that would resemble the look we created at the audition.
Your films, though not traditional thrillers, are as gripping as the work of Alfred Hitchcock. Doubt was a major theme in his work and yours; it’s almost another character in The Past. I think it’s because we constantly deal with doubt in our lives and we devote so much energy to it.
Even the things we are certain about are only an illusion.[Laughs.] From there, I have to ask myself why he left four years ago, what is going to happen here?The process of writing is like creating a game of dominoes: The first domino creates the second incident, and so forth until the end. The reason I like him is because the audience becomes a partner in what’s going on; I can un-solve the puzzle like the director.As New York film critic David Edelstein wrote of A Separation, “What makes it so good is that no one is bad.” The Past is the first of Farhadi’s films to be set outside of Iran: After deserting Marie (The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo) and her two daughters four years ago, Iranian filmmaker Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returns to Paris to finalize their divorce.Unbeknownst to Ahmad, Marie is now living with Samir (A Prophet’s Tahar Rahim) and his young son, Fouad (Elyes Aguis).He’s acting like the good guy even though he had a role in creating the mess they are in.