The film absolutely changed the way I looked at films. I remember not having even shifted from my seat throughout the 123 minutes that this film went on for.
It was in the fifth semester that I watched a film in one of the screenings that totally changed my perspective towards international cinema. It was right after lunch and we had our lecture with Prof. Ajit Duara on “Appreciating Cinema”. This was the fourth film we were about to watch in our course related to Iranian cinema and though I was exposed to this lesser known corner of international cinema, the result was unexpected. The film absolutely changed the way I looked at films. I remember not having even shifted from my seat throughout the 123 minutes that this film went on for.
The film I’m referring to here is ‘A Separation’ by Asghar Farhadi. This film is a complex drama about a dissolved marriage. In it the wife, Simin wants to leave Iran as she thinks it isn’t a fit environment to raise her daughter, Termeh. However, her husband, Nader refuses to leave his father suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease and this leads to the both of them ultimately, getting separated. Their daughter decides to stays back with her father. But the real messiness of the film starts only when Nader hires a helping lady to take care of his father and he realises that she is lying to him.
Throughout this film, the director has not even given the audience a single second to breathe or to try to take sides with any one of the characters – a very significant element that was conveyed through the treatment of the film and was later explained to us by Prof. Duara himself. Truly, I couldn’t take any character’s side which taught me how, in the film, each person had their own perspective which led to them to act the way they did. It taught me how in reality there is no right or wrong. Everyone has varied reasons for their actions and sometimes the consequences are not given too much thought.
These three years of college have now taught me quite a lot when it comes to handling my relations and communicating to my parents, friends and acquaintances. This film has been a contribution to this maturity I have gained on the way. It also made me fall in love with the Persian language and I wish to learn it someday.
Article by – Akanksha Ganesh Kalhe (Batch of 2018)
Photograph by – Aayush Gaur (Batch of 2019)