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A Separation

Asghar Farhadi
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
Iran 2011 / 123’

Nader and Simin’s separation is a tug-of-war play. The play is about arguments and pokes. She wants a breath of fresh air in a more liberal environment, and he sticks to the status quo and to the father with the Alzheimer disease. They both seem to be eager for reaching the compromise; however, in the consequence of unexpected incidents, the fabric of their relationship is torn, thread after thread.

The heroes who are largely preoccupied with the conflict shift the whole responsibility for their decisions onto Temeh, their daughter. And, in the end, it is Temeh who becomes the centre of viewers’ and characters’ interest. In his film that is full of tiny observations, emotions, and tensions, Farhadi asks the question about the status of a film performance and the relationship between audience and film heroes. Will we be able to protect ourselves against the suggestive stereotypes when we will have to assess the situation and pass the final verdict on our own?

The cinema with social aspirations is rarely so disconcerting, and even more rarely uses suspense as perfectly as it was done there. The film is a combination of Hitchcock and Antonioni, and leaves us astonished by our reflection in the fantastically shot reality of Iran.


Berlin IFF 2011 – Golden Bear, Silver Bears for the Best Actors’ and Actresses’ Ensembles; Fajr FF 2011 – Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Sound

Asghar Farhadi

The artist, born in Isfahan in 1972, is not so much a star as he is a supernova of Iranian cinema. Eight years after his first feature film, his work has received awards in Teheran, Chicago, Split, Berlin and Warsaw. Polish film lovers immediately recognised his talent and gave The Beautiful City the Audience Award at the Warsaw IFF in 2004. He then received the Berlin IFF’s Silver Bear for About Elly in 2010. The Iranian artist truly came into his own in 2011. When A Separation was presented on the fifth day of the Berlin IFF, it stopped all discussion about potential Golden Bear candidates. Farhadi’s gift lies in his sensitivity to the nuances of the words and gestures of daily life, and in his ability to capture their dramatic power.

Selected filmography

1988 Janali (short)

2003 Raghs dar ghobar / Dancing in the Dust

2004 Piękne miasto / Shah-re ziba / The Beautiful City

2006 Perski Nowy Rok / Chaharshanbe-soori / Fireworks Wednesday

2009 Co wiesz o Elly? / Darbareye Elly / About Elly

2011 Rozstanie / Jodaeiye Nader az Simin / A Separation

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Cast & Crew

director Asghar Farhadi
screenplay Asghar Farhadi
cinematography Mahmoud Kalari
editing Hayedeh Safiyari
music Sattar Oraki
cast Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi
producer Negar Eskandarfar, Asghar Farhadi
production Asghar Farhadi
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language Persian
colouration colour