The Past

“With A SEPARATION, director Asghar Farhadi made what was to become the Iranian cinema’s greatest international success, a worldwide hit that garnered numerous high-profile awards culminating in Iran’s first-ever Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. The film seemed to position its creator as an artist ready to leap from Iran onto the world stage, a promise handsomely fulfilled in its French-made follow-up, THE PAST another brilliantly mounted drama concerning fracturing families, hidden motives and the difficulties of attaining stability in a rapidly changing world….The story opens as Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returns from Tehran to Paris to help his wife Marie (Berenice Bejo who was so unforgettable in THE ARTIST) finalize their divorce. The two had lived together in France but have been separated for several years and have three children. From the first it’s evident that there’s still a skein of emotion connecting them, a mix of residual affection and resentment, but now Marie wants to move on by marrying Samir, a laundry owner who has a more traumatic unresolved relationship hovering over him…For nearly an hour, the drama proceeds by examining in ever-greater depth the complex emotions and concerns that connect the characters. Then, suddenly, there’s a revelation that shifts the story to an even deeper level; it won’t be the last”—Godfrey Cheshire, Roger Ebert.com. In French and Farsi with English subtitles. PG-13. 130 Min.

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