Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

I have to admit that I hoped A Separation would disappointed, just because it’s up against the Flemish movie Bullhead for Best Foreign Language movie at the Oscars and will most likely win as well. But, you know, if it does win, it’s well deserved. This is a superb movie!

A couple is about to divorce because the parents don’t agree on what to do in the near future. The husband wants to stay in Iran and take care of his father, who’s an Alzheimer’s patient. The wife wants to leave the country to guarantee a better future for herself and her daughter. When the wife decides to leave the house for a while, the husband needs to find someone to do the household and take care of his father while he is at work. A pregnant lady secretively accepts the job because her husband has debts and is unemployed. He wouldn’t like his wife to take care of the household of another man, but the need for money is imminent.

That’s the set up. The movie starts to really intrigue when the husband arrives home and finds his father all alone attached to the bed and some money missing from a drawer. When the pregnant lady comes back he accuses her of theft and abandoning his father and pushes her out the door with some very serious consequences. You really don’t need to know more of the story. Just start looking now.

I personally loved every single character in this movie. Every single one of them. I also loved all the people in supporting roles and even some extra’s. I totally felt each and every scene. The acting is flawless. At times you don’t even realize you are looking at a movie, but at a real life situation. And even if you don’t really agree with the behavior of some of them, you understand why they behave like they do and you empathize with them. They are no good or bad characters, they are all flawed in their goodness and righteousness and even more in their stubbornness and pride.  That, for me, made the movie! Because it was real. Nothing gets explained by voiceovers. No behavior gets explained by the characters. They just behave and you can be the judge as a viewer.

It’s very easy to assume that a movie from Iran will be a boring art house flick, which only pretentious movie reviewers appreciate. This one however, is totally accessible for an international crowd. Sure, they swear on the Koran instead of the Bible and the women are all wearing head veils, but apart from that this movie could have easily been made in France or Denmark or the UK. I thought of writing Hollywood, but then I thought: no. It looks very Western coming from a country which our media only depicts as repressive of Western lifestyles. I don’t think the ayatollahs went to see it. But I’m sure that will help this movie get the broad audience it deserves. It’s a great movie to start an evening with, resulting in hours of debating the story afterwards.

Excellent cinema. Very  impressed.