A Separation (2011)

Original Title

جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodaí-e Nadér az Simín





Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi, Ali-Asghar Shahbazi, Shirin Yazdanbakhsh, Kimia Hosseini, Merila Zarei


Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader (Peyman Moaadi) and daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi). Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents’ home, but Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman (Sareh Bayat) to assist with his father in his wife’s absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the new maid has been lying to him, he realizes that there is more on the line than just him marriage.


A Separation is a compelling and excellent drama – foreign language film or nor - and a flawless domestic portrait – although the prohibition for women to appear bareheaded distorts a little the reality. Set in contemporary Iran, the film starts and ends focusing on the separation of Simin and Nader, and how this affects their daughter. However, the main themes are the strength of a doctrine and the difficulty of a woman to be part of a male-dominated society.
Opposed to the characters of the two women, both having inner conflicts, there are the men’s, which cling to preconceptions that prevent them from perceiving reality with clarity.
Asghar Farhadi did a brilliant job both on the writing and the directional side. The unwritten ending offers each viewer the chance to decide. However, I am not sure it works fine with this film.
The cast is just marvelous. When the tension is high, they are more than convincing.
If you haven't seen any Iranian film, I suggest you to made of this film your first time.


Termeh: If you don’t say a lie, why you should be careful?

Nader: What is wrong is wrong… No matter who says or where it’s written.