Movie Review: In A Separation, Every Single Character Comes Up Short in Life

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

There are win-win scenarios, and then there is Asghar Farhadi’s acclaimed Iranian drama A Separation, which could have been called Lose-Lose: All its characters — male and female, comfortable and debt-ridden, secular and fundamentalist, old and young, senile and unborn — end up devastated or worse. Everyone is compelled to lie. Justice is impossible. There is no common ground. It is, in short, a thoroughly depressing movie, sparely photographed but rich in horribleness. What makes it so good is that no one is bad. These humans, desperate to do right, are caught up in a perfect storm of inhumanity. The evil is in the ecosystem.

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