Plagiarism: Asghar Farhadi found guilty for his film A hero – Actus Ciné


A Tehran court has found multi-award winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi guilty of plagiarism for his latest film A Hero. The filmmaker would have taken key elements from the documentary by Azadeh Masihzadeh, All Winners All Losers, one of his former film students.
Released in our theaters last December, A Hero received the Grand Prix at the last Cannes Film Festival. The film carried by Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh and Fereshteh Sadre Orafaee follows Rahim, a man imprisoned because of a debt which he could not repay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint against the payment of part of the sum. But things don’t go as planned…

A hero

A hero

Asghar Farhadi

Amir Jadidi,
Mohsen Tanabandeh,
Fereshteh Sadre Orafaee,
Sahar Goldust,
Maryam Shahdaei

released on

December 15, 2021

Sessions (2)

The judgment is final and Asghar Farhadi’s punishment should be determined soon. The director could be forced to hand over to Azadeh Masihzadeh “all revenue from screening the film in theaters or online“, and could even be sentenced to prison.

To date, A Hero has grossed approximately $2.5 million theatrically worldwide.

Amirhossein Shojaei

Amir Jadidi in A Hero

Asghar Farhadi admitted his movie was based on the same true story as All Winners All Losers, which Masihzadeh developed as a student in a documentary workshop that the director led.

During an interview granted to AlloCiné for the promotion of the film at Cannes, the director explained: “Eight or nine years ago, I was teaching in a film workshop as I often do. And as a simple educational project, I proposed to my students to divide into groups of two or three people, and I myself transmitted to them some of these stories which I had noted in the press. I also asked them to try to find others, and to make small subjects on these people, on courses of this type.

But, here again, it did not go beyond the framework of reflection and the educational approach. It was only even later, when I came back from Spain after filming Everybody Knows, on my return to Iran, that I said to myself that this concept, this subject that had occupied my thoughts and that had interested me for years, deserved more attention to write a story that has this subject at its heart.”
Asghar Farhadi did not admit to stealing his student’s idea and claimed to have done his own research on this true story.

Farhadi had sued Masihzadeh for defamation, the latter counterattacked by claiming that the Oscar-winning filmmaker for A separation in 2012 and for The Client in 2017, had plagiarized his work. The Iranian court ruled both lawsuits in favor of Azadeh Masihzadeh, dismissing the defamation case and finding Farhadi guilty of plagiarism.


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