A Separation

2011 | Drama | 123 minutes | Persian with English subtitles


Set in contemporary Iran, a middle-class, hardworking family is about to disintegrate. Simin tells her husband Nader  she wants to go to a country with more opportunities and freedom. Nader refuses to go because he’s committed to caring for his father, who has Alzheimers. Furthermore, Nader wants his teenage daughter Termeh to stay in Iran and live with him. Simin sues for divorce. The court sides with the husband and Simin moves out to live with her family. With Termeh living with him, and no wife to care for her and his father, Nader hires Razieh to help. Nader then discovers that Razieh has been neglecting his father. He asks Razieh to leave. She refuses unless she gets paid. Nader pusher her, she falls, and is taken to the hospital. Nader finds out that Razieh was pregnant when she fell and suffered a miscarriage. Under Iranian law, Nader could be convicted for murder. New evidence emerges in the court as to the cause for the miscarriage. Meanwhile, the divorce between Simin and Nader reaches a conclusion. The judge now asks Termeh with whom she would prefer living: her father or her mother. Termeh is torn over her heartbreaking situation.
Leila Hatami (Simin) / Peyman Moaadi (Nader) / Sarina Farhadi (Termeh) / Sarah Bayat (Razieh)
Why Stream This Film?
The news media often represents the Iranian people and their leaders to be brutal,  war mongering, and dictatorial. But  average Iranians are like everyone else: hardworking, caring, and sometimes even hurtful to family members. A Separation depicts all this superbly. After seeing this film, you’ll not judge Iran and its people the same way. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 99%
  • Metacritic Score: 95
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Winner, Golden Bear for Best Picture; Best Actor (Peyman Moaadi)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
  • National Board of Review: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
  • National Society of Film Critics: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film; Best Screenplay (Asghar Farhadi)
The Iranian film A SEPARATION, written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, seems to me the best film of 2011. A SEPARATION is what cinema was invented for. The shooting of the film is simple and concise and the director does nothing to distract us from the people and their problems. You would have to say it is a realist film, yet the complexity in its relationships makes the post-war classics of Italian Neo-realism seem quaint and superficial.
David Thomson

The New Republic

A SEPARATION is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth. It also sketches a portrait—perhaps an unnervingly picture for American audiences—of a society divided by sex, generation, religion and class.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

Just when it seemed impossible for Iranian filmmakers to express themselves meaningfully outside the bounds of censorship, Asghar Farhadi’s A SEPARATION comes along to prove the contrary. Apparently simple on a narrative level yet morally, psychologically and socially complex, it succeeds in bringing Iranian society into focus like few other films have done.
Deborah Young

The Hollywood Reporter

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