A legal thriller, marital drama, and class-conscious melodrama rolled into one, A Separation chronicles societal rifts with remarkable acuity and empathy. Initially about a conflict between a well-to-do husband and wife, the latter who wants to move abroad with their young daughter, the film turns far more complex after an accident involving a working-class pregnant woman raises the stakes for all involved. While the film takes place in Iran, and one plot twist hinges on Islamic faith, A Separation is not a foreign story. Rather, it explores universal questions about social status, fidelity, and truth, and the costs of concealing it.
Have something to say? Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in the January-February 2012 issue of Utne Reader.