Read Asghar Farhadi’s Script for Iranian Film Oscar – Deadline

Editor’s note: Deadline’s Read the Script series debuts and celebrates the movie scripts that will be factors in this year’s movie award race.

For Iranian screenwriter-director Asghar Farhadi, A hero was the culmination of a long reflection on a recurring phenomenon that he had noticed being reported in the media of his country.

“I had been reading stories like this in the press for quite some time,” Farhadi says of the genesis of his film’s story, which centers on Rahim (Amir Jadidi), a man imprisoned for unpaid debts who , while on a brief leave, returns a newly discovered purse filled with gold coins to its rightful owner rather than using the loot to replay her delinquent accounts. It’s a good deed that yet deeply complicates Rahim’s situation.

“[I had seen stories] ordinary people, who briefly made the headlines because of an act of selflessness,” says Farhadi. “These stories often had common features. A hero wasn’t inspired by any particular short story, but writing it had those stories in mind.

“Initially, I had a vague idea of ​​these true stories,” adds the filmmaker. “I always work the same way: the spark can come from an image, a feeling, a brief plot that will develop later. Sometimes all this can remain in the back of my mind, without my suspecting that it will one day lead to a scenario. Time is an important ally. Some of these seeds disappear on their own, others persist, grow and remain in you in a state of unfinished process, waiting for you to dedicate yourself to them.

Farhadi let his creative process unfold at its own pace, where “through scattered notes, an idea begins to emerge,” he says. “Then comes the research and the first sketches which themselves dictate the path to follow. Almost all of my stories developed in my mind in this progressive way. I don’t remember ever being able to design a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end right off the bat.

Over several months, the filmmaker refined his ideas with a series of color-coded note cards. “I choose one color for ideas that I’m sure will somehow fit into the script, another for those that I’m less sure of,” he says. “Many of these cards will not be used directly in the writing phase. They do not provide clear information for the script; however, they help me better understand my characters. During this preparatory phase, many aspects of the character journeys are developed and leave more or less visible traces in the film.

Ultimately, as the plot, characters, and themes coalesced, Farhadi recognized that the whole thing reflected a new take on the gray area of ​​human nature that his previous films had explored.

“Everyone has their reasons for acting the way they do, even if they’re not necessarily aware of those reasons – sometimes they’re not clear or easy to summarize. They are a mass of contradictions. In fact, people can take years to find the reasons for their actions within themselves, deeply buried in their past,” he says, noting that decoding underlying motivations is not about justifying or legitimizing bad behavior, but simply to understand it. “By noting the reasons that pushed an individual to act, we can understand him, without necessarily agreeing with him.”

Click below to read the script of A herowhich had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Grand Prix, before becoming Iran’s submission to the international Oscar race where it was shortlisted ahead of the February 8 nominations (Farhadi already has two Oscars, for A separation and Seller). Amazon Studios released the pic in US theaters on January 7 and released it to Prime Video on January 21.