A couple is torn between leaving Iran for a better life and staying to care for a dying parent. Golden Bear Award-winner for Best Film and Silver Bear Award-winner both for Best Actor and Best Actress at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival and Official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar candidate from Iran.

A critical and audience favorite at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Golden Bear as well as acting prizes for all four lead performers, A Separation is an Iranian Rashomon of searing family drama that turns into an unexpectedly gripping legal thriller. The film, directed by Asghar Farhadi, begins with married couple Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) obtaining coveted visas to leave Iran for the United States, where Simin hopes to offer a better future to their 11-year-old daughter. But Nader doesn’t feel comfortable abandoning his elderly, Alzheimer’s-stricken father, and so the couple embark on a trial separation. To help care for the old man, Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a pregnant, deeply religious woman who takes the job unbeknownst to her husband (Shahab Hosseini), an out-of-work cobbler. Almost immediately there are complications, culminating in a sudden burst of violence that constantly challenges our own perceptions of who (if anyone) is to blame and what really happened. A Sony Pictures Classics release. (New York Film Festival)

Click to read SFFF Blogger Joanna Smith’s preview of “A Separation.”

“Most American families might not be aware that their Iranian counterparts face many of the same problems that they do. But in A SEPARATION by director Asghar Farhadi, screening Saturday, October 22 at the Santa Fe Film Festival, a father must make a choice that rings true for all families.” Read more…


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Director:Asghar Farhadi
Writer:Asghar Farhadi
Year Released:2011
Country:Iran
Length:123 minutes
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Persian with English Subtitles. Print courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.