Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Separation Movie Review

Iranian films and film makers have always succeeded in making films that vividly depict the complexity of human life and relationships.

A Separation, was Iran's entry and winner of the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 2012 Oscars.

The film is a domestic drama by writer-director Asghar Farhadi, in which a web of personal and social issues play out on the screen in complexity and pain.

A Separation focuses on damaged relationships and the issues relating to gender, class and religion in contemporary Iran.

The protagonists are a modern day, 30-something, working couple in Tehran, Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moaadi).

After 14 years of marriage, the wife Simin wants to end their union over differences regarding the education of their talented 11-year-old daughter Termeh (played by Sarina Farhadi, the director's daughter).

Simin wants to leave Iran for another country to expand the opportunities available for her daughter; Nader is determined to stay to care for his elderly father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi), who has Alzheimer's.

Simin leaves the family home and returns to her mother while Nader, while hoping she will come back, hires a poor, uneducated and deeply religious woman Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to care for his ailing father.

That Razieh is unable to cope with the situation is shown when the father soils himself and she phones an imam to inquire whether it is permissible to change his clothes.

Razieh recommends her husband Hojjat (Shahab Hosseini) take over her duties but he is arrested for debt before he can.

For here on things begin to go terribly wrong and the two couples Simin and Nader and Razieh and Hojjat find themselves before the magistrates.

Nader had returned to find his father tied to the bed and fired Razieh and physically pushed her out of the flat, unjustly accusing her of theft in to the bargain. Later Razieh has a miscarriage and the court is charged with finding out if Nader is responsible.

The movie now revolves around the difficulties of the two couples finding a compromise solution to their various problems, something that proves beyond them and leaves Termeh with a heart-rending decision to make at the end of the film.