I’ve been waiting to see A Separation for a couple months, after having seen the previews numerous times at our local theatre. This despite it being one of those previews where you feel you’re being told the entire story (you aren’t!). There’s just something intriguing about seeing an Iranian film; being given a glimpse into a society that I perceive as utterly different from ours in Canada. For various reasons I ended up not seeing the film until last night, while visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Morristown, NJ. I have to admit that I was not expecting to find a theatre playing an Iranian film, even if it was Oscar winning. I regret waiting so long to see it. The film was captivating both in its story and in its foreign-ness. Because it centres around a crime, we are given a view into how the judicial system works in Iran (hint: very differently than Canada’s). We also begin to understand the role that religion plays in everyday affairs, not that this was such a big surprise to me. What was more surprising I think was actually how much more secular Iran is than I was expecting. Later I pondered whether the film would have been as engrossing had the story been set in Canada, nevermind that things would have unfolded differently. I think that it would not have been as great. About 60% of the film consists of character sketches and these are brilliant. But the remaining 30% of the greatness of this film is due, in my opinion, to its fascinating setting. The ending of the film, while frustrating, will likely keep a discussion going amongst your friends long after you have left the theatre. Definitely worth seeing!