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NNarrative Feature Competition

A Separation

A Separation

Original Title: Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Iran | Farsi
2011 | 123min. | Colour
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Format: DCP
12+
Poignant, absorbing and thought-provoking from start to finish, this remarkable new Iranian film is richly deserving of the worldwide acclaim it has received since it swept all the major prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere in February.

A Separation begins when Nader (Peyman Moadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami), a middle-class couple, file for an amicable divorce. She wants to move abroad, and takes their adolescent daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi, the director's daughter), with her in the belief that Iran today is no place to raise a female child. Her husband, whom she describes as "a good man," is unwilling to leave because his Alzheimer's-ravaged father needs constant care. It's the search for a caregiver that brings Nader and Simin into contact with another couple, Razieh (Sareh Bayat) and Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini), who are struggling to keep their heads above water financially.

For more than two hours (it feels like far less) we are riveted by the developing conflicts of a story in which our sympathies shift from one character to the next, and where each in turn merits our empathy and compassion. "The most terrible thing in life is that everyone has his reasons" is a celebrated remark made by a character played by the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir in his 1939 masterpiece, The Rules of the Game. To think of A Separation in that company is the highest praise I can think of. This latest work by Asghar Farhadi, whose About Elly screened at this festival in 2009, confirms his gift – rare among contemporary Iranian filmmakers – for making films that can be shown without domestic interference, despite their unflinching examination of some of the widening rifts in Iranian society.

–Peter Scarlet

Director,  Asghar Farhadi

Director,  Asghar Farhadi

Asghar Farhadi was born in Iran. He studied theater and film at Tehran University, then directed for Iranian television while also making short films. His debut feature, Dancing in the Dust (2003), screened at festivals internationally, as did Beautiful City (2004) and Fireworks Wednesday (2006). His breakout film, About Elly (2009) won the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin International Film Festival and had its Middle East Premiere at ADFF.

Cast and Crew

Director
Asghar Farhadi
Cast
Leila Hatami, Peyman Moadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi, Babak Karimi, Merila Zarei    
Production Company
Asghar Farhadi
Music
Sattar raki
Producer
Asghar Farhadi
Executive Producer
Negar Eskandarfar
Screenwriter
Asghar Farhadi
Editor
Hayedeh Safiyari
Cinematographer
Mahmood Kalari
Art Director
Keyvan Moghadam
Sound
Reza Narimizadeh
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