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A Separation

2011 Director: Asghar Farhadi

From the opening scene of A Separation I knew I would enjoy this film. The dialogue is smart and ambiguous. The shot is framed so that all your attention is focused on the two characters, you are hanging on every word. Invested in what emotion they are conveying and thus invested in them as characters right from the beginning. So it goes with A Separation a dialogue, character driven Iranian film that will have you invested throughout.

The driving force behind this film is conflict. Nearly every character that comes in contact with each other has some sort of conflict at some point. How they react to the conflict engages us and drives the narrative forward. A Separation also makes nearly every character both sympathetic and unsympathetic at the same time. At any given time we are mostly unaware of who is lying and whether their motives are pure.

As an American viewer I was also quite intrigued at some of the cultural conflict in this film. There is a married couple who are devout Muslims and this informs many of the decisions they make throughout the film. Their conflict as a result of their beliefs is not something that most of us can relate to. Even the religious devout in our culture would not allow these things to become a point of contention. For an outsider this definitely added to my intrigue within the film.

A Separation is a well made intriguing drama. The writing is superb. The acting is very good, especially Maadi. While the visuals are not particularly note worthy, the scenes are framed very well, in a way that engages the viewer. A Separation is a must view for any film lover.