nader-and-simin-a-separation-jan-31stAn examination of a failing marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran to find
a life of greater opportunity for herself and their daughter, while Nader
feels duty bound to continue to stay and care for his father who has
Alzheimer’s. With emphasis on the politics of the personal, Farhardi
creates a sophisticated, compelling but ultimately devastating story. “A
Separation is a portrait of a fractured relationship and an examination of
theocracy, domestic rule and the politics of sex and class.” Peter
Bradshaw, The Guardian. (Cert PG)
Dir: Asghar Farhadi 118 mins Iran 2011

Programme Notes

Nader and Simin, a Separation
Iran 2011 118 minutes Cert. PG

The power of world cinema to inform and educate is evident in this 2012 Best Foreign Language Oscar winning film from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. Cinema can give a wide angled lens viewpoint – often missing from the dispatches of journalistic foreign correspondents, who have no agenda to tell the stories from the perspective of ordinary people. Nader and Simin, a Separation is a complex examination of modern day Iranian society, where aspiration and expectation come into conflict with traditional and religious restrictions. The failing marriage of Nader and Simin is the metaphor through which we examine these dilemmas. We, the viewers, are presented with the difficulties that Nader and Simin face, which are universal in nature, as they attempt to balance the needs of family young and old. Farhadi places us firmly in the position of weighing up the rights and wrongs of each protagonist’s stance.

Filmography: writer and director of Beautiful City (2004) and Fireworks Wednesday (2006), and screenwriter of About Elly (2009).

Nader – Payman Maadi
Simin – Leila Hatami
Razieh – Sareh Bayat
Nader’s father – Ali-Asghar Shahbazi
Simin’s mother – Shirin Yazdanbakhsh

Director – Asghar Farhadi
Screenplay – Asghar Farhadi
Original Music – Sattar Oraki
Cinematography – Mahmoud Kalari
Producer – Asghar Farhadi

“Comparable to the work of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof…[and shows] the influence of Michael Haneke’s 2005 film Hidden. Farhadi, like Haneke, takes a scalpel to his bourgeois homeland.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“I feel it’s important to talk about the complex issues affecting us… I think it’s insulting to an audience to make them sit and watch a film and then give them a message in one sentence.” Asghar Farhadi, speaking at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival


“Very good”


“I’m stunned – words fail me!!”

“One of the very best. Class politics, religion, sexual politics – what a poisonous cocktail! Marxists call it false consciousness.”

“Utterly compelling and unflinching”

“A wonderful film of tremendous complexity, Shakespearian even – Measure for Measure?”

“Very moving, and deserving of a wider audience in the West. (Glad to see the Hillman Hunters are still going!)”

“Brilliant acting but unremitting gloom.”

“Many powerful performances, showing the cross-currents of raw emotion. Termeh vs. an emotional giant.”

“Excellent, very impressive film. Fascinating scenes in courts and hospital, and the class thing ….”

“Very convincing, with a great ending”

“A rewarding and engaging domestic drama that acted as an administrative allegory on religion, justice and hierarchy in the Iranian household.”

“A fascinating glimpse at how the whole legal process is conducted in Iran.”

“A film offering no answers or solutions to all the miseries in life. Interesting to see the system of justice from the pov of a wise elder, also the terrible tyranny of religious dogma ….”

“A good example of what can happen on divorce or separation. Should Termeh have gone to live with either of them? Just about everyone except the old man were guilty of something. Who took the money that was supposed to have gone missing?”

“A difficult film to watch”

“I didn’t find the basic premise believable enough. It was not enough for the wife just to want to leave. First part a bit slow.”