Asghar Farhadi found guilty of plagiarism for ‘A Hero’
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Director Asghar Farhadi has been found guilty of plagiarism by an Iranian court. According to the sentence, that he is binding and cannot be appealed, Farhadi stole the premise of his new movie, ‘A Hero’, from a documentary titled ‘All Winners All Losers’ presented by one of his former students, Azadeh Masihzadeh, in one of the film workshops that he teaches. The ruling has determined that the director has violated Masihzadeh’s copyright by reproducing key elements of his work without crediting her.
When Masihzadeh first pointed out the similarities to Farhadi’s work, Farhadi admitted that the plot of ‘A Hero’ was based on the same true story that Masihzadeh, as a student, had turned into a non-fiction film. However, he defended himself against the accusation claiming that she had documented on her own account and sued her for defamation. Then Masihzadeh countersued for plagiarism and now the Iranian court has decided to resolve both sentences in favor of the student.
‘A hero’, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and won the Grand Jury Prize, tells the story of a man who, during a two-day prison leave, finds a bag of gold coins and tries to return them to their rightful owner. The film has grossed around $2.5 million worldwide and Amazon Prime Video has its US distribution rights. Farhadi is also the director of ‘Nader and Simin, a separation’ and ‘The Salesman’, both winners of the Oscar for best international film, ‘About Elly’, ‘The Past’ and ‘Everybody Knows’.
Farhadi is now waiting for a second judge to determine the sanction for the sentence, which could range from giving Masihzadeh all the income that the film has obtained in its commercial projections, both in theaters and digitally, to facing a penalty. from prison Contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, Masihzadeh stated that she is not happy, but relieved: “I am not happy because I respected Mr. Farhadi very much as my teacher. Sometimes I think I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place.”. If the defamation trial had been won by the director, the punishment for Masihzadeh could have been two years in prison to 74 lashes, as corporal punishment is still part of the penal system in Iran. In Spain ‘A hero’ can still be seen in theaters and you can read our review here.