A Separation: It was the big winner at the Berlin festival, taking its top prize, the Golden Bear, plus the best actor and actress awards. The accolades are deserved. Set and shot in Iran, this story of domestic strife in a middle-class home begins with a woman filing for divorce after her husband refuses to emigrate to create a better life for their daughter. In the wife’s absence, the husband hires a woman, who is secretly pregnant, to take care of his father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. A chain reaction of calamities ensue, triggering legal action. Director Asghar Farhadi torques each twist of the intricate narrative with jewelled precision. Right under the noses of the theocratic regime, he has made a family drama inlaid with a sly critique of Iran’s obdurate patriarchy.
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