The stand out film of the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and winner of the Golden Bear, A Separation is a suspenseful and intelligent drama detailing the fractures and tensions at the heart of Iranian society.
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, the film boasts a range of superb performances from the ensemble cast who collectively received the Silver Bears for both Best Actor and Best Actress at the Berlinale.
The compelling narrative is driven by a taut and finely written script rooted in the particular of Iranian society but which transcends its setting to create a stunning morality play with universal resonance.
When his wife (Leila Hatami) leaves him, Nader (Peyman Moadi) hires a young woman (Sareh Bayat) to take care of his suffering father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi). But he doesn't know his new maid is not only pregnant but also working without her unstable husband's (Shahab Hosseini) permission. Soon, Nader finds himself entangled in a web of lies manipulation and public confrontations. A Separation is the first-ever Iranian film to be awarded the Golden Bear.
A universal story of family power struggle and love, all made more stressful by the strictures of Iranian society and Islamic rules. Never predictable, the plot keeps the viewer glued to the screen. Also an interesting peek into middle-class Iran, a category of professionals and white-collar workers that does not share much with poorer, more traditional and religious strata of society. In the end, one gets to reflect on the vault of truth: is it always a sin to lie?