Gripping family drama exposes ties that bind - A Separation (PG)

THIS is yet another gem from Iran. A much-lauded film, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival last year, now nominated for two Oscars, it wends its way through a series of moral issues in what is basically a legal drama.

At the beginning of the film Simin (Hatami) and Nader (Moadi) face the camera arguing for a divorce. They have a visa to live abroad. Simin thinks this would give their 11-year-old daughter, Termeh (Farhadi), a better chance in life, but they have only 40 days in which to utilise it. Nader will not leave his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father (Shahbazi). Simin wants a divorce and sole custody of their daughter. The judge denies her request.

The couple separates, she to go and live with her mother, while he remains in their home with his father and Termeh, who hopes that if she stays with him it will force her mother to return. But Nader must go to work and Termeh must attend school. Nader needs someone to look after his