The 2017 Oscars are quickly making history with each award. The first three awards of the evening were won by the most diverse recipients that we’ve seen in a very, very long time (or ever). And then on top of that, a powerful film with an even more powerful real-life component won for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Salesman won for the category, and has recently been in the headlines in response to Donald Trump’s travel ban. Because of the ban, the film’s director, Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi, was not in attendance at the awards show. Accepting in his place was Anousheh Ansari, an engineer and astronaut who read an impactful on behalf of the Iranian director and screenwriter. "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and the other six countries that have been disrespected by the inhuman law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S. dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' category creates fear,” she read to the audience.
Farhadi’s speech, which was impactful for its short length, went on to address the role of filmmakers in the world. "Filmmakers can turn their camera to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes,” she read." They can create empathy between us and others...which we need now more than ever." In addition to being a part of this powerful on-stage moment to support a fellow Iranian in their craft, Ansari has made history in her own way — she was the first Muslim women to travel to space.
Yes, you're going to want to watch the full speech below.