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Saturday, September 17, 2011

A SEPARATION

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL SELECTION

By D.E.Levine

Asghar Fahardi, the Iranian writer and director of this film, has accomplished a somewhat amazing feat just by getting this film made.

Iran is not known for leniency and this film is a pretty astute and realistic examination of things which one might think the government would frown upon discussing.

The protagonist is Nader (Payman Maodi), whose father suffers from Alzheimers. His marriage of many years is strained and his wife wants to leave him. When he hires a woman to care for his father, she accuses him of things that he never did or meant to imply.

Basically, Nader's life as he knows it, and his family, are coming apart. Around every corner is more bad news. Nader appears stoic but he's deeply troubled by the way his life is falling apart.

What Fahardi is most successful at showing is the small ordinary things in Iranian life - in other words Iranians are not so different from the rest of the world. That sameness that the actors demonstrate may well account for the film's popularity.