A middle class Iranian couple suffer through a
difficult decision while on the brink of divorce.
A Separation (2011)
Written and Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Starring Payman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat,
Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zare’i, Ali-Asghar
Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Kimia Hosseini, Shirin Yazdanbakhsh
Oscar Wins - Best Foreign Film
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Screenplay
I’m obsessed with reading and making lists, especially ones that involve films. I’ve read some 2011 best films lists, I’ve read some best films of the decade lists, and they usually have Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation. I finally got the chance to sit down and watch it for the first time and holy shit, it’s on those lists for a reason. Farhadi has directed eight films since 2003 and definitely has me interested in checking out what else he has done. It wasn’t just my first time watching a Farhadi film, but my first time watching an Iranian film as well and I will always be a believer in seeking out films from all nations.
Nader and Simin are a married couple who live in Tehran, Iran. Simin desperately wants to leave the country for the sake of their daughter, Termeh but Nader feels that he has to stay home with his father who has Alzheimer’s. Simin requests a divorce and moves in with her family, but Nader and Termeh stay with his sick father. Nader then hires a woman to take care of his father while he is at work and Termeh is at school. He thinks he’s getting help, but an incident occurs that changes the course of their lives forever.
There are no easy conversations happening throughout A Separation. It splits your emotions apart and forces you to take sides multiple times. Payman Maadi is stellar as Nader, who I was rooting for and against over and over. The rest of the cast is really fucking strong, but what I’m going to remember most is the writing. Asghar Farhadi was born in Iran and knows Iran. The way he’s able to write day to day scenarios that give us a look into Iranian life and relate to us at the same time is truly extraordinary. If intense family dramas are your thing, stop what you’re doing and give A Separation a whirl.