A Separation Review

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A couple, Nader and Simin, file for a divorce in the midst of difficult family problems, but the role of the state becomes an obstacle in the future of their relationship and their own lives.


The winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin, Asghar Farhadi’s densely plotted, morally complex drama exposes divisions throughout Iranian society. Sparked by a divorce plea, a dereliction of care and a miscarriage, the legal struggle between secular bourgeois Peyman Moaadi and devout, debt-ridden Shahab Hosseini dominates proceedings. As well as notions of justice, honour, truth and duty, Farhadi considers the status of wives Leila Hatami and Sareh Bayat and the impact of secrets and lies on their young daughters. Restless camerawork emphasises both what is and isn’t said, revealing suspicions in a nation that is not nearly as united as its leaders would have us believe.

Powerful art cinema that challenges political and social unity in Iran.