A Separation: Compelling, Dramatic and Powerful

By David Yu

Undoubtedly, a quarrel within the family often makes for compelling drama about the dissolution of marriage. However, there were no better films to depict this melodrama than A Separation directed by Asghar Farhadi, starring Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat and Sarina Farhadi.

Generally speaking, A Separation begins with married couple, Simin and Nader obtaining visas to leave Iran for a better future of their daughter. But Nader refuses to abandon his ill father and so the couple embarks on a family quarrel to make their cases. When Nader hires a young woman who is deeply religious to assist his father in his wife’s place, he hopes that by obtaining help would return their life to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the help has been lying to him, immediately there are complications culminating in a sudden burst of violence that constantly challenges our own perceptions of who is to blame and what really happened.

Farhadi directed this film with an intended purpose to portray the Iranian women to the audiences. Since the Western audiences often have a very fragmented image of the Iranian woman, whom they see as being passive, home bound, far from any kind of social activity, Indeed, perhaps a certain number of women do this way, but director Farhadi expressed explicitly in this film that for the most part women are highly present and active in society, and in a much more forthright manner than men, despite the restrictions they are subjected to.

Furthermore, Farhadi clearly made this whole film into a detective story with the audiences as detectives. While watching the movie, the audiences are in charge of solving the puzzles. A Separation is a film that raises questions to the audiences rather than imposing ideas and answers.

Indeed, A Separation directed by Asghar Farhadi has received the Golden Bear for Best Film and Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, thus making this film a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage.

2011 Berlin International Film Festival
Golden Bear Winner (Best Film)
Silver Bear for Best Actress to the actress ensemble
Silver Bear for Best Actor to the actor ensemble
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
2011 AFI Fest | 2011 New York Film Festival
2011 Telluride Film Festival | 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
2011 Fajr Film Festival, Audience Award Winner
Also, Iran’s official selection for the 84th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

For more info: http://www.sonyclassics.com/aseparation/

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