Actions have consequences. It’s a simple lesson that’s easy to forget. While we stress teaching this concept to children, often we forget to stop and remind ourselves of it. Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation is a terrific film that explores the choices we make, and the resulting consequences we must live with. While it’s no surprise that this Iranian film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in the 2012 Academy Awards, it’s still a rare feat for a foreign film to break into such a prestigious and traditionally American category. Farhadi’s script is extremely easy to follow for American audiences (aside from a few cultural idiosyncrasies), while offering psychologically and socially complex moral situations.
In the film, an Iranian couple named Nader and Simin are on the verge of separating. Simin wishes to leave for America and take their 11-year old daughter with her, however Nader wants to stay in Iran to take care of his ailing father and does not want his daughter to leave him. Both of them want the separation, but are divided on how to handle it. Due to the state of disagreement, the Iranian courts prohibit them from separating, deeming their squabble as insufficient grounds for a divorce. Forced to stay together, tensions are high and conflict arises.
What I’ve described above is not a plot summary, but merely a catalyst. I had not heard anything about this movie before seeing it and was therefore much more engrossed in the film as these situations developed naturally and somewhat surprisingly. The script was nominated because of how organically these conflicts present themselves and how nuanced the characters are written. These characters feel like real people and it is hard to pick a side because none of them are wrong or evil, they’re just on opposite sides of a conflict. This was in my top three films of last year, and sadly I only got to see it once (unlike Drive, which I saw four times) But that’s what makes A Separation so profound, everything about it will stay with you long after the credits roll…
[NOTE: I chose not to add the trailer to this page, for I feel it gives away important plot points that don't even occur until halfway through. Watch it at your own risk, but I implore you not to.]
Find the DVD in our DVD collection!