On May 15, 2023, we received the Iranian director Azadeh Masihzadeh at the Institute of Philosophy to discuss her documentary “All Winners, All Losers” (2019) in relation to plagiarism, truth and lies, fiction and authority.

For more information on this fascinating work and the plagiarism controversy that surrounds it, see Rachel Aviv’s article in The New Yorker “Did the Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi steal ideas?”

About the documentary:

Shokri is a prisoner who, on his one-day leave from prison, finds a backpack full of money: instead of using it to pay his debt – the cause of his imprisonment – he tries to find the owner, in order to return the sum. He is “a hero”, being featured on local Fars TV. But is he? What part of that is true? And what do the prison authorities have to do with it? In this movie, the director dismantles in a subtle and smart way the net of lies woven by and around Shokri. In some sense, this film is like a symbol for a kind of social interaction: above any kind of (geo)political constraints or system. The fact that precisely the idea developed in this film seems be stolen by an established and highly regarded film director, makes the story even more cynical.