Saturday, May 04, 2013

Asghar Farhadi: Jodái-e Náder az Simin / A Separation

Asghar Farhadi's Jodái-e Náder az Simin / A Separation (2011) takes place entirely in Tehran while delving into intricate social interactions among contemporary Iranians. On the one hand, it's excruciating, and on the other, absorbing and amazing. Certainly it's engaging. One comes away from Farhadi's work with some kind of better insight into how Iranian society functions, how men and women and children relate, how ethics, morality and the law relate, and how familiar yet distinctive modern Tehran feels. The characters are like people in many other places in the world as they deal with adult care, education, jobs, cars, mobile phones, food and drink, movement, contemplation and choices to make.

I'm not often a fan of kids in films, but in A Separation, the two main ones are excellent and provide important points of view regarding everything else that's going on around them. Their expressions speak volumes, and when they speak, what they say is particularly meaningful. 

The closest thing that I can think of among American films is Tamara Jenkins' The Savages (starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, 2007), which I also liked a great deal.

Made on a relatively shoestring budget of less than the equivalent of one million US dollars, A Separation has done exceedingly well with critics and at the international box office. It even made over seven million bucks in the USA -- and won an Academy Award, too.

Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune.      


Charles Gramlich said...

I suppose I could get a more rounded view of Iranian society by watching such films. I'll have to see if I can find it.

the walking man said...

Most people think only of the Iranian government when they think of Iran. It was a true cosmopolitan place until this repressive regime took over 10 years ago.