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Through the difficulties of one couple, director Asghar Farhadi illustrates the schism between the classes in contemporary Iran. The spiral of complications begins when Nader (Peyman Moaadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) separate, because she wants to give 11-year-old daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) a better life abroad and he wants to stay in Tehran to care for his father, who has Alzheimer's disease. Though Termeh would prefer to live with Simin, she remains with Nader in hopes to encourage reconciliation. After Simin moves back in with her mother, Nader hires housekeeper Razieh (Sareh Bayat), who quits when she finds out she has to assist his father with intimate matters, which doesn't square with her religion, so she arranges for her husband to take her place, but he's struggling with his creditors again. Out of desperation, Razieh returns, but then she loses track of the old man, gets into a fight with Nader, and ends up in the hospital. Nader insists he didn't know she was pregnant and had nothing to do with her fall, but the case proceeds to court, one of three trials in the film. The middle-class couple appears to have all the power, except the ensuing web of lies and omissions leaves everyone at some kind of a loss. A Separation isn't, in other words, a happy story, but Farhadi spins out the various twists and turns in an expertly directed, beautifully acted manner.

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BRCO39670 Separation Blu Ray DVD (2011/Asghar Farhadi) $35.99 $29.99