Trump’s Order: Film in Peril

Has President Trump already started “making America great again?” With not even half a month into his position as president of the United States, President Trump has already enacted an immigration and refugee ban. When hearing this news, one can easily see this will play a vital role in the world of global politics, national security, and U.S. domestic behavior. However, one might not even realize that this has an impact on the artistic realm of film.

According to an article in Variety, written by Seth Kelly, Trump’s new ban will restrict Iranian director Asghar Farhadi from attending this year’s Academy Awards. This is particularly troubling considering Farhadi’s “The Salesman” has been nominated for Best Foreign Film. The article also mentioned that the star of Farhadi’s film, Taraneh Alidoosti, will not be attending the showcase out of protest against Trump’s decision. One cannot help but wonder how many other celebrities and filmmakers will abstain from the 89th Academy Awards.

Many, if not all, filmmakers believe that film, like other forms of art, transcends borders and that Trump’s ban is a heinous crime against the beauty and diversity of cinema. Even though this ban against Muslim countries is temporary (90 days), it implies a new era in American politics, and, consequently, film. Will American filmmakers have difficulty recruiting Iranian or Libyan actors? Does this ban mean that Trump’s future policies will continue to sever ties to foreign works of art and Middle Eastern influence will disappear from American films?

Film is about connection as much as it is about inward discovery. Time will tell if this new era will contribute to tense foreign relations or if filmmakers can rebel against laws and orders to embrace the value of other cultures and share and explore different perspectives.

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