OK for kids 16+
Intense but rewarding Iranian drama has complex characters.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Separation is a powerful Iranian drama with mature themes, including marital troubles and miscarriage, plus lots of tense, angry arguing. There's some strong language (in English subtitles) and some adult situations. In one scene, a very religious woman must decide what to do when, while caring for an old man, she finds she needs to clean him, despite the fact that her religion doesn't allow her to see him naked. Though none of the content concerns are individually all that age inappropriate for younger teens, overall, watching A Separation is a pretty intense experience.
- Families can talk about the movie's arguments and intense situations. Do they fit with the movie's story? What purpose do they serve?
- How do culture and religion play into the decisions the characters make? Does the movie portray their influence in an expected way?
- According to this movie, what are some of the differences between Iran and America? What are some similarities? Do you agree?
The good stuff
Messages: A Separation illustrates how communication and telling the truth can solve a lot of problems, while lying and covering up can create more -- though it demonstrates this through a negative example rather than a positive one.
Role models: Most of the characters are willing to lie and cover up their knowledge to make things "easier" on themselves. Characters mostly communicate through arguing.
What to watch for
Violence: There's a minor scuffle as an enraged man tries to eject a woman from his home. Also discussion of a miscarriage. Many shouting matches and tense arguments.
Sex: A woman realizes she must clean an old man who has wet himself, even though it's against her religion to see the man naked. The old man is shown in his underwear.
Language: Aside from angry, tense arguing, there's some swearing in the subtitles, including one use of "f--k," plus "a--hole," "bastard," and "hell."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarettes can be seen in one scene, but there's no actual smoking.
Fan Reviews provided by
A++ But Tough to Watch by William Kent
This movie deserved its Academy Award. Engrossing and emotionally honest, exceptional acting and production, but the emotions are so strong it is tough to watch. It is not popcorn entertainment, but more akin to reading a classic piece of tragic literature.
I strongly recommend it, but not for casual fun. Go early and have dinner afterward to discuss it and allow yourself time to decompress.
As a lawyer I found the courtroom and police department scenes fascinating - no lawyers in evidence but the legal and police processes seemed to work far better than the equivalent proceedings in the USA. The legal process seemed much more humane and civilized. In the United States our court system has taken on the appearance of due process while having lost the substance long ago, like so much in our society today, there is a cognitive dissonance between what we say and what we do, between reality and words. We could learn from Iran apparently in this respect.
It's all in the details by kldavis
I read an interview with the movie's creator before I read a review or saw the movie.I'm glad I did. He emphasized how subtle messages must be to make it past the censors, which changed how I watched the movie. Usually I go for the big picture. This story is all about the details.The bird's eye view it offers into the Iranian legal process, and that it ends up catching everyone involved in bending the truth, makes the story unfold like a mystery. It's fascinating. I'd see it again.
A revelation by williekiss
What a fabulous movie. So many aspects of life are touched on.The acting is superb and it's fascinating to see normal middle-class life in Iran. There are no good guys or bad guys and anything and everything seem possible. Lots to think about.
So Far and Yet So Near by red carpet moviequeen
A Separation provides the viewer with up close insight to a society seldom seen except through the distant lens of the media. At the same time it dwells on universal issues of family, loyalties, truths and half truths, religion and justice. One cannot help but feel that the film makers were using the family situations and characters as complex metaphors for the political and religious schisms in contemporary Iran. This is a moving and gripping film on so many levels and well deserves the accolades which it has received.
A Separation by jagjaxon
Great film! You will be thinking and talking about it for some time. It provides a good look at two couples in Iran and how husbands and wives interact in that society. The main premise my husband and I discussed was who really was at fault in the mess that ensued. Were the children and the grandfather the only innocents?
An interesting story.. by frascati
Acting was superb, the story interesting. Was not impressed by the directing of the movie, but altogether it is a movie to see.
This really was an excellent movie... by donmontalvo
...aside from prestine acting, and photography, the story was awesome. Recommending this to everyone I know.
Don Montalvo, TX
Independent Films are over rated by TheMunce
This was an entertaining movie but not even close to being a good movie. I am tired of independent film writers being lazy by not ending their movie and instead just leaving the audience hanging. Christopher Nolan understands how to do that and he brilliantly used that technique in INCEPTION. I have seen a string of independent films that have left the ending open and its tiring. There have been some outstanding independent films lately (INCENDIES) but I am tired of people thinking if it is shown in an indy theater it must be "BEST PICTURE" quality. Get off your high horse.
Should have been a Best Picture nominee! by jdowney3
This is a superbly crafted drama, showing life in great complexity--that's it's very complicated. Never mind that it's Iranian with subtitles; it is simply a great movie.
A Separation by Peneflix
This disturbing and thought-provoking movie from Iran gifts the viewer a realistic and insightful look into ordinary life of a culture anathema to those who live in the West; it it difficult to rise above your own freedoms and prejudices to grasp the relationships between males and females in a historically male ?dominated, controlled society. A society where religion dictates and often smothers individuality...
The most remarkable aspect of the film is its contemporary aesthetic; Farhadi, filming under a political ideology where censorship is undisputed, allows the spectator to divine his/her own conclusions; he is completely nonjudgmental, lacking pedagogy; each character vacillates between life- altering decisions, thick with complexities, frustrations; maneuverability shrinking as the situation escalates and all paths to a righteous, fair solution fade...
***For full review visit peneflix.com