Note: I know, it sounds contradictory. Why see a film called “A Separation” when we are starting to gather together? Why not just leave all that awfulness behind? Well, read on. It may be that if we truly grok the mysterious depths of human separation it can help catapult us into our transformed future.
Are you, like me, a person who tends to judge others? Do you have firm, unshakable beliefs that guide you every moment? Do you ever notice it is always the children who suffer from adults’ decisions? Does it puzzle you, how we can get so caddywumpus in our relations with each other, how no matter what we do, how we try, something comes up that knocks our whole game-plan off course? That boxes us into complicated, competing needs? Ever contemplate the seriously multifaceted nature of any human situation that involves even one person, not just two or many?
Especially, ever wonder how we haven’t just blown ourselves to smithereens despite it all? How flow, that mysterious atmospheric perfume, does sometimes gather all our separate agendas into a single rippling current, and move them forward together? This movie is not about flow. Nor does it sport a “happy ending.” Rather than resolution, it ends with the difficult question with which it began, only now, we understand the context, we empathize with all the “characters,” and we weep.
“A Separation,” from an extraordinary Iranian director, may be the best argument for the idea that something, ET or “divine,” has been helping humanity all along, else we would have already blown ourselves up. And, by way of its absence, helps us recognize flow when we are in it.
This film should be shown and discussed in every Ethics class, in grade school, high school, intro philosophy courses, graduate school. Nobody is unscathed. Nobody is perfect. Everybody is doing the best they can. Everybody is loveable and deserves the best. How the director maintains that stressful paradox throughout the movie is the miracle.
I am truly astonished by the mastery of this film, an Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Film in 2011. Not at all “foreign,” by the way. HUMAN.