OSCAR-winning Iranian film A Separation focuses on an upper-class couple going through a divorce. One partner also wants to emigrate due to the political climate.
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, it touches on traditions and relationships in modern Iran.
The film, in Persian with subtitles, was the first Iranian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Golden Bear at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. It also won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes this year.
It won Peyman Moaadi (as husband Nader) and Leila Hatami (the wife Simin) Silver Bears for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively.
Director Farhadi, in his Oscar acceptance speech, reports Reuters, said: “At a time of talk of war, intimidation and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.
“I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilisations and despise hostility and resentment.”
A Separation centres on Nader and Simin who argue about living abroad.
Simin prefers to leave Iran to offer better opportunities for their only daughter, Termeh. But Nader refuses to go because he wants her to stay and take care of his ailing father. They separate, without telling the courts.
They get a carer, who turns out to be pregnant. She loses the baby and everyone gets involved in a legal case.
With a budget of US$800,000 (RM2.4 million), the film has generated more than US$13 million in worldwide box office sales, according to the website Box Office Mojo, including US$2.6 million in the US.
Farhadi, who works and lives in Iran, says audiences should “take from the movie what they will”, rather than it being a current reflection of the situation of its young people.
Others have interpreted A Separation as a comment on class differences, or as a critique of Iran’s justice system, or a clash between modernity and tradition.
While Farhadi has spoken up for award-winning and jailed Iranian director Jafar Panahi, he says he himself was not confronted with censorship by the Iranian authorities.
Its depiction of national alienation, the politics of sex and class, and a sad burden that such strife bears on people are issues many can relate to.
Catch Oscar winner A Separation from Thursday at TGV cinemas