The Salesman title image
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124 min.
Release Date
The Salesman poster

In Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, the Iranian filmmaker crafts a moral dilemma to which there is no solution. Those familiar with his cinema will recognize his tactic and usual narrative framework. He begins with a minor indiscretion, a passable micro-offense that barely registers. Gradually, the misdeed unravels into a life-altering event, raising questions about the consequences of our actions, no matter how trivial. Farhadi also challenges the viewer’s sympathies. Although he invests us in central characters at the outset, before long, we begin to scrutinize their behavior and reconsider our initial impressions. By the end, no one is innocent, and we’re left questioning how we feel about these characters and what they have done. His dramaturgy functions like a stage play, while his naturalist aesthetic places the story in the real world. This dynamic might seem incongruous but represents the filmmaker’s distinct, neorealist style. Yet, Farhadi’s moral puzzles do not end by passing judgment from a moralist perspective; they prompt us to search inward to assess the choices and behavior on display.


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