One of the universally praised films of the past 12 months is the Iranian family drama A Separation (Roger Ebert names it number 1). I saw it today and was very impressed with the acting, cinematography, emotional honesty, and depth of inquiry into the human heart, but was somewhat less carried away with the “thriller” qualities that some reviewers have mentioned. The chaotic nature of Iranian “justice” as depicted in the film is so foreign that I had a hard time connecting with it; in that respect it seemed to me like a story from the Middle Ages without the picturesque veneer afforded by chronological distance.
What I really failed to grasp, however, was the class differences depicted by the movie, and the political ramifications thereof. If you plan to go, it will be very helpful to read this review in London’s The Guardian first: