Title: A Separation
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Play time: 2h 3min
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Screenwriters: Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Payman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat
Screened at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival.
Don’t have any grand thesis about this one, except to say that it’s an exquisitely acted, ambiguous, believable portrait of a society where everything — religion, tradition, justice, gender politics, medicine, absolutely everything — is royally and perhaps irreversibly fucked up. Which can get tiresome, but Farhadi doesn’t push the theme, instead letting it emerge from tremendous drama both macro (the story has a relentless logic that seems to close in from all sides; it reminded me somewhat of a more tragic version of Mamet’s The Winslow Boy) and micro (every scene has an intense, painful energy). I can’t really overpraise the acting; Shahab Hosseini (Farhadi’s About Elly, which I now urgently need to see), in particular, blows the roof off the place as an unemployed, profoundly demoralized husband who has nothing left to lose except his sense of honor and justice. What seems like should be a tough sit for over two hours instead jets by.
— Eugene Novikov