“A Separation”

Film Length: 2 hours 3 minutes

“A separation” revolves around a couple, Nader and Simin, who have just separated. Simin wants to move abroad where life would be more convenient for their 11 year old daughter, Termeh. The family disagrees and they eventually separate so that Simin goes to live with her mother. Conflict arises when Nader hires a stout Muslim woman, Razieh, to care for his father who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. It is a drama movie that expresses itself extremely well especially amid the censorship that is renowned for Iranian films. It is directed by its writer and producer, Asghar Farhadi, in an Iranian setting. It is produced in Persian with English subtitles.

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The roles in the film are well played with Leila Hatami and Peyman Moadi acting as Simin and Nader respectively. Shahab Hosseini and Sareh Bayat act as Hodjat and Razieh, the caretaker, respectively.  They fit well in their roles especially each one being able to fit in the emotional part associated with their roles.

The story revolves around a family that is on the verge of break-up. Nader refuses to go abroad with his wife and also refuses to sign his daughter’s travel papers which are required for her to travel abroad. He argues that he needs to stay and take care of his ailing father who is living with them. On these grounds, the wife, Simin, sues for divorce but the judge rules that her grounds for divorce are insufficient. She, however, leaves and goes to live with her parents. Nader, at the proposal of Simin, hires Razieh for their father’s assistance. One day, Nader returns home with his daughter to find his father tied to the bed and the Razieh is nowhere to be seen. On her return, he accuses her of neglect and of stealing his money and shoves her outside where she falls on the stairway. She miscarries and sues him for manslaughter.

The movie displays Iran as a country that is governed by the Islam law. The theme of religion is depicted throughout the movie. It is especially depicted when Razieh calls a religious hotline to enquire whether she is allowed to clean the old man or it would amount to sin. She only does it when it is confirmed that she may. The movie uses symbols specifically when Nader’s father dies. They come into the courtroom in mourning clothes. The movie also tries to show how slippery the law is as we all attempt to live our lives happily. Even honesty does not seem to help Nader in his case.

A separation comes out as one of the best movies yet performed especially on Iranian soil. The movie has indeed been rated as the best work by Asghar Farhadi. It has also scooped several awards including The Academy Award as the best foreign language film, 2012, making it the first Iranian movie that ever won the award. It has been given a rating of about 9/10 on most platforms and is therefore a must see (Lane, 2014).

In conclusion, the movie was released at an opportune moment when the whole world is watching as the Islamic law is being used in ways that seek to abuse the rights of its citizens, in the American context. At the end of the movie you will get a series of questions answered. What happens about the Nader family? How does the ruling go? What happens to Nader’s daughter amid these disagreements?

Works Cited

Lane, Anthony. “Tehran Tales.” The New Yorker 2012: Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 June 2014.

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