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A Separation - Movie Review

By tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan

Published: 7:49AM Monday April 16, 2012

A Separation

Rating: 8/10

Cast: Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi

Director: Asghar Farhadi

It was the Oscar winner for 2012 for the Best Foreign film, and now it opens in New Zealand cinemas.

It's the tale of Nader and Simin, who have been married for 14 years and who are now at an impasse. The film begins with Simin (Hatami) filing for divorce from her husband as she wants them to leave Iran - but he doesn't want to uproot their 11 year old daughter or leave his elderly father, who's suffering from Alzheimers.

However, the court won't grant those terms of divorce so the pair is forced to live apart. Nader decides to hire some help - a lady called Razieh - to take care of his father but she struggles and the treatment begins to cause rifts all round. To make matters worse, every decision has horrific ramifications and the lies told cause untold ripples in what's to come.

A Separation is a gritty, raw and at times, harrowing film to watch.

It's wonderfully acted by all involved with the core cast of characters getting ample time to breathe and devlelop but it is a difficult watch all round due to the subject matter. It's not that the story that it chooses to tell is pushed too far rather that what ground it covers is extremely relatable, deeply moving and a poignant look into a world that many of us won't have access to.

Thanks to rounded characters and measured film making, it's easy to see how A Separation won an Oscar - it's a compelling watch which makes you think and stays with you long after the film is over.

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