Art and Experience: THE SALESMAN (Iran) takes a premise that would fit right into a Hollywood genre mystery, mixes it with obsession and revenge, and sets it in Tehran. While performing in a local production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” a couple experiences a shattering incident it struggles to understand.
“I’ve strived for the drama taking shape in my stories to be the outcome of the details of daily life, details that seem ordinary and simple, and that we all face and deal with daily in our lives,” director Asghar Farhadi says.
“Incorporating the thriller — prime examples of which are American, e.g. Hitchcock’s films — into daily life and reality, is something I am always trying to expand on in all my films. You could call these films ‘reality thrillers.’ ”
The differences between how “Salesman” unfolds and how Western audiences might expect are stark — and rooted in the culture of today’s Iran.
“Thematically, humiliation is at the heart of ‘Death of a Salesman.’ … In ‘The Salesman’ too, Emad, the main character, undergoes humiliations all through the story. Ultimately, it is this feeling that results in Emad acting in a way that is unexpected for us.”