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Still shot from the movie: A Separation.

A Separation

Simin's (Leila Hatami) dream of a brighter future for her daughter (Sarina Farhadi) includes leaving her homeland, Iran. But her husband (Peyman Moaadi) won't even consider the idea because of his duty to take care of his aging father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi). These conflicting goals threaten to separate the couple. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: A-
Violence: B
Sexual Content: A-
Language: B
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Run Time: 123
Theater Release: 20 Jan 2012
Video Release: 21 Aug 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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How We Determine Our Grades

After watching a movie with your children or students, we encourage parents and teachers to look for education opportunities to teach with movies. Here are a few discussion topics that can help with lesson plans or teaching in the home.

This movie presents an interesting moral dilemma. Which is more important: The life of an unborn child or that of an elderly, infirmed adult? How do you feel? Although neither topic is addressed in the film, how does this question tie into the debates over abortion and euthanasia?

When it comes to the decision to divorce or stay together, whom does the responsibility fall upon in this script? Is that fair? If not, who do you think should be accountable? Does this scenario play out in other cultures and countries too?

The characters in this story could be accused of using situational ethics, meaning they let the circumstances dictate what moral rules they will apply. Do you feel that there are absolute values one should use to decide his or her conduct? Are there times when it is okay to bend those guidelines? Why are the characters portrayed here tempted to manipulate the way they recount the facts? Is not telling all the truth the same thing as lying?

A Separation received a lot off attention in the 2011 awards circles, where it won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards and the Academy Awards.

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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