A Separation

19 October 2012 DVD

A Separation

A judge tells a married Iranian couple he won’t grant them a divorce because their dispute amounts to just “a little problem”. But when are marital problems ever little? Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave Iran for the sake of their daughter, while Nader (Peyman Moadi) wants to stay to look after his elderly father. It’s a messy struggle between past and future that spreads when Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to look after his father, only to then become involved in a legal battle with her. Pretty soon everyone is shouting at everyone in endlessly circular and true-to-life confrontations, which each actor approaches with gusto. The highlights of A Separation, however, are the quieter moments: devoutly religious Razieh on the phone asking if changing an old man’s clothes is a sin; or Nader teaching his daughter to stand up to authority, while presenting himself as an authority figure. A Separation raises a lot of questions: some the viewer is left to consider; others have answers cleverly concealed in the manner of an expertly crafted detective movie.

JODY MACGREGOR

Categories