Opening film: Asghar Farhadi reinterprets the past in Spanish

Todos lo saben - photo du film © FDC


The 71st Festival de Cannes will open with Todos lo saben (Everybody Knows) by Iran's Asghar Farhadi – a psychological thriller with an exceptional Spanish cast, including Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Argentina's Ricardo Darín. After The Past (2013), which earned Bérénice Bejo the Best Actress Award, and The Salesman (Forushande 2016), which garnered the Best Screenplay Prize, plus Best Actor for Shahab Hosseini, this is the writer-director's third film in Competition at the Festival, and his first film directed in Spain.

Asghar Farhadi wrote the parts with his three leading actors in mind. For the sixth time in their career, since Jamón Jamón by Bigas Luna (1992), Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz are reunited on screen. In the film, Ricardo Dariín plays the role of the husband shaken by events in the Spanish village of his wife Laura (Penelope Cruz), who has returned from Buenos Aires with her children to celebrate the marriage of her sister. For Javier Bardem, Todos lo saben paints "an extremely precise portrait of Spanish mores", the result of a highly successful study by a foreign director. The plot of this social drama takes place on the Iberian Peninsula, in a little vineyard in the heart of the countryside – an original choice by the artist, who had already with The Past, shown a preference for France over Iran.

From the psychological twists and turns resulting from divorce to the relationship dilemmas revealed by a sudden traumatic episode, the director of A Separation (2010) likes to train his realistic gaze on the cracks in family life. In Todos lo saben, Farhadi's sensitivity once again focuses on to the past, exploring 'the human relationships among the villagers', without wishing to convey a message – except, perhaps, to evoke sympathy for his characters, beyond borders and cultural differences.

With this humanist opening film, Farhadi offers us the fruit of his reflections,  and surrounds himself with a stellar Spanish team: the legendary director of photography José Luis Alcaine, a collaborator of Pedro Almodóvar, Carlos Saura and Bigas Luna, and the costume designer Sonia Grande, who worked on The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001) and Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011). Todos lo saben is the second Spanish-language opening film since Almodóvar's La Mala Educación in 2004.