Screening Friday June 1
Doors open 7.30pm
Movie shows 8pm

A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.

Margaret: five stars David: five stars

Asghar Farhadi's film A SEPARATION arrives in this country with a reputation, a good one. This multi-award winning film begins with a couple addressing the camera . Simin, LEILA HATAMI, is seeking a divorce from Nader, PAYMAN MOADI, because he won't leave his Alzheimer-afflicted father to live overseas on a visa that is rapidly running out.

Denied a divorce, she goes to live with her mother while he returns home to his father and their daughter Termeh, SARINA FARHADI. Into their household comes Razieh, SAREH BAYAT, a woman from a conservative, religious working class background. She arrives each day with her daughter to help look after the old man.

An incident happens and Nader finds himself in a legal battle with Razieh and her excitable husband Hodjat, Shahab Hosseini.

This exquisite film begins slowly but soon grabs you by the throat as it explores the fine line between truth, honesty, loyalty and justice. There are moral issues at stake here and all are taken into consideration with the utmost compassion. Farhadi's style of filmmaking, although handheld, seduces you into this world of domesticity and dilemmas. It is truly moving on occasions.

The performances are all outstanding but the young woman playing Termeh, Sarina Farhadi who is the director's daughter, is just heart-wrenchingly excellent. There are no simple answers and Farhadi doesn't offer them. It's certainly a film for grown-ups despite its PG rating.

Further comments


DAVID: It’s a wonderful film.


DAVID: On one level again, it’s so simple. But right from the very beginning, the very first shot where the camera is placed, so the audience is placed, where the judge is sitting at this divorce hearing so that the actors are talking directly to us, the audience, explaining the differences between them and why she wants to leave Iran for the sake of her daughter, take her daughter for presumably a better life, she doesn’t spell it out, but that’s the…

MARGARET: And that’s disapproved of, her saying that.

DAVID: Sure. And he understandably doesn’t want to leave because his father is not well and he doesn’t want to abandon his father. And so straightaway you can see both sides of the argument, and that’s the way all the way through. You can see where every character is coming from, you can sympathise and you can struggle with these dilemmas yourselves as an audience.

MARGARET: I love the little insights, going to the petrol station, he makes her go get the change from the attendant because he didn’t actually fill the tank, it’s such a little insight in his character. These insights into the legal system in Iran, which are so interesting and textured because it is a completely different system from ours. But aiming at the same thing, aiming at ultimate justice. I just, I love this film, I love… really love it. I’m giving it five stars, it’s rare for me, but I just embraced it so wholeheartedly.

DAVID: I’m going to join you and embrace it too. I’m giving it five stars, it’s a wonderful film.

MARGARET: Oh, David, great.


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