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A Separation (2011)

Peyman Moadi , Leila Hatami , Asghar Farhadi  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami
  • Directors: Asghar Farhadi
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0087OULO6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,382 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Separation" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Set in contemporary Iran, A SEPARATION is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer's-suffering father. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents' home, but Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman to assist with his father in his wife's absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the new maid has been lying to him, he realizes that there is more on the line than just his marriage.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius January 27, 2012
The Iranian film "A Separation" will most likely win this year's Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and has already won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film as well as best film at the Berlin International Film Festival. "A Separation" is writer and director Asghar Farhadi's fifth film, and it's the one that will establish him as one of the world's most brilliant storytellers.

The title ostensibly refers to an urban middle class couple who have separated from each other; English teacher Simin has gotten a visa to emigrate to the West, but her husband Nader, who works in a bank, refuses to leave his father who has Alzheimer's. They have an 11-year-old daughter Termeh (played by the director's daughter) who doesn't want her parents to leave each other, and so chooses to stay with her father, knowing that Simin won't leave Iran without her.

But the title also refers to the rural-urban, traditional-modern, moral-utilitarian divides that coalesce to form the main conflict in this movie. After Simin leaves to live with her parents, Nader hires a villager named Razieh to look after his father. Looking after a male patient with dementia is too much for the pregnant Razieh, who must commute three hours to work. When Nader's father soils his pants, the profoundly pious Razieh has a crisis of faith, and seeks religious counsel to see if God will permit her to change the poor man's pants. She's underpaid and exhausted, but ultimately she's bound to the family's misfortunes by her own: her husband has lost his job as a cobbler, has to take medication for the consequent depression, and is in and out of debtors' prison. One day, Nader returns home to find Razieh absent and his father tied to the bed, and he becomes so distraught and angry that he fires Razieh by pushing her out the door.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
This is a masterful, unblinking, documentary-like description of the incredibly delicate relationships that exist between the members of any family. It should appeal to any adult who has ever a) been married; b) been a parent; c) cared for an elderly person; d) had a serious difference of opinion with a mate; e) tried to be a good person and do the right thing but was thwarted by circumstances and dilemmas; and f) tried to keep the peace at home by telling a white lie that eventually had unintended consequences.

In other words, the very mature subject matter and plot should be of interest to just about any adult anywhere in the world.

I wonder why Hollywood is incapable of making similar films. The cost is minimal, but Hollywood would have to imagine a good story, write a realistic and intelligent screenplay and refrain from explosions.

["The Kids Are All Right" did an excellent job addressing the drama of family dynamics, but it seemed unable to move the focus away from sex and lesbianism. "The Kids..." addressed only one tenth the number of adult issues that "A Separation" does. I wonder if Hollywood is still capable of complex adult family drama.]

The subtitles were not distracting at all.

The sympathetic depiction of Alzheimer's and its effects on all family members is very real, but not at all "in your face".

When living in Cairo for five years our family resided in three separate apartment buildings similar to those in this film. From time to time we'd hear a domestic dispute underway somewhere in the building, and, because the raised voices were in Arabic, we could only imagine what the dispute was about.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By Roshan
This film is a masterpiece.

Many reviews have already given away the plot, but in essence this film is about the difficulties of life in Iran told through the misfortune of a split family who get into a bad situation that enables the director to tell the story of lower middle class Iranian life.

The wife wants to move abroad, the husband wants to stay because of his demented father. The daughter is caught in the middle. The family struggle with home help.

There is a twist in the story, which I shall not reveal, but when I saw this film, it was the only film I have ever seen where the entire audience waited through the WHOLE end credit sequence to witness the twist.

Brilliant, educated cinematography.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A Separation, an Iranian film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, is an intricate family drama set in current-day Tehran. It won both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 2011, and was also nominated for Academy's Best Original Screenplay Award as well.

The film begins with a couple explaining to a judge why they want a divorce. Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to emigrate to another country where she feels they can have a better life for themselves and, more importantly, for their daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi). They had filed the needed paperwork months ago and recently it finally came through. But her husband Nader (Peyman Mooadi), who had previously been agreeable to the idea, refuses to go, ostensibly because of his father who is suffering from Alzheimer's and now needs someone with him at all times. Simin, fearing the opportunity may never come again, is determined to go regardless and wants to take Termeh with her. But under Iranian law, she needs Nader's permission for that and he refuses to give it. So they feel that divorce is the only option left to them. The judge says that this is insufficient grounds for a divorce and refuses to approve their request, leaving them without any resolution to their problem. Simin, who had been looking after Nader's father, leaves their home and moves in with her family, while Termeh, who is in school, stays.

Their conflict becomes further complicated when Nader tries to find someone to look after his father while he is away at work. He cannot afford a professional caretaker, so he ends up hiring a woman named Razieh (Sareh Bayet) who is a friend of a cousin of his wife's. Complications arise almost immediately.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A truly fantastic movie. From the story to the flawless acting, yet another great movie from Iran.
Published 8 days ago by khodam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must-see
Published 18 days ago by Mohammadreza Imani
4.0 out of 5 stars Cinematography tells the story
I was about halfway into "A Separation" when I noticed that the fim was unrelentingly claustrophobic. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Larry Benjamin
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing
I watched this film with great interest, in spite of the distraction with sub-titles, yet I am not sure I understood the full import of the events that took place. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Suzanne Sousan
5.0 out of 5 stars I was surprised at how this story drew me in, despite the difference...
I was a bit skeptical as to whether I would like this film. Given how women are treated in Middle Eastern countries, I was afraid I would just be irritated watching it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Louie's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story Telling
The storyline, and performances are very much like a fine persian poetry, and one wonders how such a gem could be conceived in today's Iran. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Al Shaikoli
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Held Convictions
This Oscar-winning (Best Foreign Film) drama from Iran is every bit as good as one of you JayFlix.net folks insisted it was! Persistence pays (AND backing a highly acclaimed film). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jay B. Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oscar worth film
I really like this movie, I felt that I am living with them. It shows the culture and the daily life of a typical Iranian family
Published 3 months ago by R. Khader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film
As most other reviewers have written, this film is brilliant. Seemingly quiet, not a lot happening, just a bunch of talking/disagreements among characters, is actually an... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lixy
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding and seeing inside Iran
This is a very complex and interesting story and it would be so no matter what the country setting. Since it is from Iran, it provides an excellent view (for eyes and imagination)... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Wallace Kaufman
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