A Separation

opening-scene-of-a-separation

I’m so glad I finally found the time to watch Asghar Farhadi’s critically acclaimed 2011 film A Separation. I know it’s starting to sound cliché because I keep saying the same things over and over again about the films that I feature in my blog, but this film is again, one of the best films I’ve ever seen. It depicts the challenges faced by a couple’s already tumultuous relationship, as the husband becomes accused of committing murder.

The film can’t really be defined as a thriller although it’s gripping in the sense that it manages to keep your attention through the extent of the film through the smooth flow and the intelligent dialogue. The film won’t probably flow through the way you might expect it to be, and the director manages to create smooth transitions from scene to scene to ensure that no questions are left hanging. It manages to entice you as well through the twists of the story as the film progresses All of the actors were amazing; they managed to effortlessly convey emotions extremely well through the intonations of their voices and their facial expressions. 

This was the first Iranian film I’ve ever seen and I’m not disappointed by the outcome of the film at all. I’ve already known for a long time that Iran has been one of the pioneers in the global film industry for quite some time now, and they manage to create films that end up garnering critically acclaim when presented internationally. I’ve also heard about Asghar Farhadi and I’ve been wanting to watch his films for a really long time now. I thought that this would be the best to start off with since it seems to be his most critically acclaimed one.

I’ve never been to Iran, and I’ve always wanted to go there, but I honestly don’t know a thing about Iranian culture. Seeing this film helped me get somewhat of an idea of contemporary Iranian culture, and it seems like a rather “liberal” nation compared to others in the Middle East. Even thought the Middle East often get a bad reputation for being extremely conservative, it’s interesting how Farhadi manages to create a film that somehow centres on the theme of divorce despite it being somewhat of a taboo in religious circumstances. I’m not exactly sure how tolerant Iran is towards divorce, but I could see based on the film that it’s not exactly something that they find very ideal. The image of an unbroken marriage is still one that is uphold the most, probably due to cultural or religious norms. Prior to seeing the film, I also never knew that it was permissible for women to drive in Iran (which is a good thing). Women also seem to have a higher role in Iranian society as opposed to the other cultures in the Middle East. Besides driving being legal for them, it also seems quite normal for women to have successful jobs over there.

Don’t hesitate to comment and correct me if I’m wrong in any of the statements I’ve written above. 

I’m now more intrigued to see more of Farhadi’s films, and Iranian and Middle Eastern films in general. I’ll be sure to write about it in my blog if I happen to watch another one I love. 

Photo courtesy of muftah.org

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