THE SALES­MAN

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As­ghar Farhadi (A Sep­a­ra­tion), opens his new movie with an in-your-face sym­bol for mod­ern Iran: a col­laps­ing build­ing. Emad (Sha­hab Hos­seini) and his wife, Rana (Taraneh Ali­doosti), are rousted from their Tehran apart­ment by the pan­icky an­nounce­ment that the ed­i­fice is about to fall. He is a teacher, and the cou­ple are also ac­tors, ap­pear­ing to­gether as Willy and Linda Lo­man in a small pro­duc­tion of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Sales­man. When a col­league of­fers them an apart­ment, Rana is at­tacked there by an in­truder. From here, Farhadi tracks the psy­cho­log­i­cal evo­lu­tion of his two pro­tag­o­nists, as Rana be­comes para­noid and hos­tile, while Emad grows in­creas­ingly bent on re­venge, which seems more rooted in the in­sult to his man­hood than in his wife’s trauma. Like Lo­man, he is a man of hon­or­able but lim­ited qual­i­ties who al­lows him­self to be warped by cir­cum­stances. Though The

Sales­man has been nom­i­nated for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film, Farhadi said he will not be at­tend­ing the Feb. 26 Os­car cer­e­monies in protest against Pres­i­dent Trump’s travel ban. Not rated. 125 min­utes. In Per­sian with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

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