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Parents' Guide to

A Separation

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Intense but rewarding Iranian drama has complex characters.

Movie PG-13 2011 123 minutes
A Separation Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

A complex film that imitates the complexity of trying to interpret one moment...brilliant!

A film difficult to watch without imposing a Western lens on it. I know all the feels I get from it, but I do not feel like Farhadi made this film for the West. He made it for Iranians. I am not Iranian, but my Western lens was softened by watching this film. The complexiities of everyday Iranian culture during moments of difficult living eg divorce, adolescence, Alzheimer's, miscarriage, religion, mental health, and misunderstanding all take center stage at different points. It is straightforward yet layered in its moral compass. We are witnessing a mystery unravel even though we witnessed it all from the beginning, or did we? Seeing people struggle to take care of elders is endearing, but what are all of the costs on a society that does not pause to acknowledge when people are fraying at the seams. A gorgeous film where everyone is right and wrong at one point or another.
age 14+

Interesting family discussion afterwards!

I agree with some of the other views but it gives families a chance to see what happens or could happen in other cultures, let alone in a family in another country.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

At its core, A Separation is basically a standard potboiler -- it could have been ripped from the pages of a dime store novel. What counts is that talented writer/director Asghar Farhadi structures it in a culturally compelling and mysterious way, while balancing all the characters to avoid easily typed "good guys" and "bad guys." There are no winners or losers in this battle -- even Razieh's angry and frustrated husband comes across as wholly human.

Additionally, Farhadi carefully weaves timely social and spiritual issues into the film's fabric, such as Iran's complicated divorce system (as well as the complexities of marriage itself) and the limitations of religion: In one scene, Razieh must bathe the old man but feels she can't due to her beliefs. Most of all, Farhadi lets the audience decide. The opening scene is filmed from the judge's point of view, and the final scene leaves off just before a vital decision. (It's worth noting that all of this was done, miraculously, within Iran's strict censorship rules.)

Movie Details

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