An Iranian court has found Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi guilty of plagiarism for his latest film, A Hero. The acclaimed filmmaker has been embroiled in a court case over the movie for the past few weeks, and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Farhadi was indeed found guilty of violating the copyright and plagiarizing several aspects of a documentary titled All Winners All Losers.
Interestingly enough, All Winners All Losers was made by a former film student of Farhadi’s, Azadeh Masihzadeh. The documentary features the same true story that Farhadi’s film is based on — a man who is in prison for a debt he could not repay attempts to convince his creditor to withdraw the complaint so he can be released. The court’s ruling is “binding and cannot be appealed,“ which means a second judge will ultimately decide on Farhadi’s punishment.
Other directors have faced similar accusations of plagiarism in the past, including Guillermo del Toro for his Best Picture-winning feature The Shape of Water. However, del Toro was able to overcome these claims. Similarly, M. Night Shyamalan had to fight back against allegations over the premise of the AppleTV+ series Servant, but this also ended up being dismissed. Even the lawsuit regarding the origins of the Duffer Brothers’ concept for Stranger Things ended up blowing over. It seems that in Farhadi’s case, however, the accusations were warranted.
A Hero debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last year, taking home the Grand Jury prize and earning around $2.5 million in box office sales. Currently, Amazon Prime holds the rights for the film in the US.