A Separation (2011) — Iran
A Separation was nominated for best foreign film in 2012. The first few minutes present what appears to be a simple if painful plot. Simin wants to leave Iran permanently because she does not want to raise their eleven-year-old daughter Termeh there. Her husband Nader refuses to join her since he must take care of his aging father who has severe Alzheimer's (which is graphically portrayed in the movie). Simin then sues Nader for divorce and the right to take Termeh with her, but when she loses this bid she moves in with her mother. Termeh stays with her dad, who hires a woman to help with domestic chores and care for his father while he's at work. This rather drab domestic dispute provokes multiple layers of complex conflicts about life in contemporary Tehran — gender roles, Islam (both secular and orthodox), economic class conflict, politics, the legal system, government bureaucracy, and especially the ambiguities that surround personal honesty even (or especially) for decent people. This film will generate many conversations about which characters could have or should have made certain choices. In Farsi with English subtitles.