A Separation (PG)
A married couple is faced with a difficult decision – to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer’s disease.
The genius of Asghar Farhadi’s story is that it piles on the tension and drama without resorting to fireworks, trickery or shock and awe plot effects. It also manages perfectly to balance the plights of several protagonists. Very few screenwriters have this capacity. The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film belongs right here. With rare subtlety and transforming art, Farhadi takes us into the emotional heart of modern Iran. Farhadi reveals his country in microcosm, divided by gender, class, religion and invisible borders of destruction. The actors do wonders, uncovering rich depths in their characters.
“A Separation” is many things, none of them trivial. It’s an indictment of a culture in which religion and tradition poison a legal system. It is an exploration of the power of a lie. It is a mystery and a courtroom drama. Above all, however, it is a tale of love and sacrifice.
Cast: Payman Maadi, Leila Hatami and Sareh Bayat
Awards: Oscar winner. Another fifty-seven wins and twenty nominations
Asghar Farhadi | Iran | 2011 | 123 mins | PG
Weighted vote 89.6%