Serve The Creator
The greatness of a person is to be a loyal servant of the Almighty ("Eved Hashem"). The expression of this service is when a person strives to perform the will of the Creator. There are many different levels along this continuum; the key is to constantly strive to grow in this attribute.
Today, think of a specific spiritual obligation that is difficult for you to follow through on, but you would like to follow. Feel the great honor of being able to serve the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
Last night Aura and I saw a well done movie about a couple in Iran's pain about life and love. It does not take much imagination to imagine this well done movie made anywhere. Much of what John Lennon said many years ago, (and I paraphrase and leave out his doubt in G-d) certainly rings true: "Imagine all the people living without country and living all as One!!)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Asghar Farhadi|
|Produced by||Asghar Farhadi|
|Written by||Asghar Farhadi|
|Starring||Leila Hatami |
|Music by||Sattar Oraki|
|Editing by||Hayedeh Safiyari|
|Distributed by||FilmIran (Iran) |
Sony Pictures Classics (U.S.)
Memento Films (worldwide)
|Release date(s)||1 February 2011 ( Tehran Fajr Film Festival) |
15 February 2011 (Berlin Film Festival)
|Running time||123 minutes|
|Box office||$3,100,000 (Iran) |
A Separation (in Persian: جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodái-e Náder az Simin, "Separation of Nader from Simin") is a 2011 Golden Globe Award-winning Iranian drama film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, starring Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat and Sarina Farhadi. It focuses on an Iranian middle-class couple who separate, and the intrigues which follow when the husband hires a lower-class caretaker for his elderly father. The film received the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, becoming the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. The film won 69th Golden Globe Awards Best Foreign Language Film. The film is also the official Iranian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. On January 18, 2012, the film was named as one of the nine shortlisted entries for the Oscars.
Nader and Simin have been married for fourteen years and live with their eleven-year-old daughter Termeh in Tehran. The family belongs to the urban upper middle-class and the couple is on the verge of separation. Simin wants to leave the country with her husband and daughter, as she does not want Termeh to grow up under the prevailing conditions. This desire is not shared by Nader. He is concerned for his elderly father, who lives with the family and suffers from Alzheimer's disease. When Nader firmly decides to stay in Iran, Simin files for divorce.
The family court judges the couple's problems not to be grave enough to warrant divorce and rejects Simin's application. Simin then leaves her husband and daughter and moves back in with her parents. On the recommendations of his wife, Nader hires Razieh, a young, pregnant and deeply religious woman from a poor suburb, to take care of his father while he works at a bank. Razieh has applied for the job without consulting her hot-tempered husband Houjat, whose approval, according to tradition, would have been required. Her family is, however, financially dependent on the work, and she takes her daughter to the house with her.
Razieh soon becomes overwhelmed by taking care of Nader's father. On the first day of work, she finds that the old man is incontinent and she phones someone to ask if it would be a sin for her to clean him. Assured that it would be acceptable, she continues in the job, but later hopes to get her husband into the position, without revealing that she herself had worked there initially. Nader interviews Houjat and hires him, but Houjat, who is heavily in debt, is put in jail by his creditors on the day he is due to start - and so Razieh returns to work for Nader.
Whilst Razieh is cleaning, Nader's father wanders out of the apartment. Razieh runs to find him, and sees him from across a busy road, peering down at a newsstand. (Although we do not see what happens after Razieh has seen him, later on in the film, we learn that Razieh is hit by a car in an attempt to protect Nader's father from being hit).
The next day, Nader and Termeh return to an empty house. Termeh discovers her grandfather lying unconscious on the floor in his bedroom, with one of his arms tied to the bed. When Razieh returns, an argument ensues between her and Nader, and he throws her out of the apartment, and accuses her of having stolen money from his room (unbeknownst to Nader, Simin was actually shown taking the money in an earlier scene to pay movers). Razieh returns to protest her innocence, and to request her payment for the day's work. Outraged, Nader shoves Razieh out of the apartment. She falls in the stairwell and hurries out of the building. Houjat's sister later calls Simin to inform her that Razieh is in hospital and they discover that she has suffered a miscarriage.
A court is assigned to determine the cause of the miscarriage and Nader's potential responsibility for it. If it is proved that Nader had knowledge of Razieh's pregnancy and caused the miscarriage by his actions, he could be sentenced to one to three years imprisonment, and much of the film revolves around this issue. Nader accuses Razieh of neglecting his father. The hot-headed and aggressive Houjat physically confronts Nader on several occasions, and threatens him, his family, and Termeh's teacher, who testifies on Nader's behalf. When Houjat is sent out of a court hearing for an outburst, Razieh reveals that he is deeply depressed and self-destructive, and that he is taking antidepressants for these issues. Nader learns from Razieh's young daughter that the reason she was absent the day Nader came home early was because she had gone with Razieh to see a doctor, something that Razieh was adamant about not revealing earlier. This, combined with Houjat's explosive temper causes Nader to wonder if perhaps Houjat is physically abusive to Razieh and possibly the cause of her miscarriage.
Termeh protects her father with a false statement and Simin attempts to arrange a financial deal with Razieh and Houjat, to compensate them for the loss of their unborn child. Nader is initially outraged by Simin's suggestion that they pay off Razieh and Houjat, as Nader feels that it would be a shameful admission of guilt. The morality of all of the characters are called into question as it is revealed that Nader did indeed lie about his knowledge of Razieh's pregnancy, and that Razieh has serious doubts as to whether Nader's actions caused her miscarriage, as she had been hit by a car the day before.
Eventually, everyone—including Houjat's debtors—meets at the home of Razieh and Houjat to consummate the payment. Nader, still wary about the true cause of Razieh's miscarriage (but not knowing about her being struck by a car) writes the cheques and slyly says he will give them to Houjat, under the condition that Razieh swears on the Qur'an that his actions were the cause of her miscarriage. Despite Houjat's desperate urgings, she cannot bring herself to do it, as she believes it will be a sin, and worries about it backfiring and affecting their daughter. Totally dejected, Houjat breaks down, hits himself violently and storms out of his home—the money is not paid.
Back at the family court, Everyone is wearing black, indicative in Persian culture of a death in the family. Nader and Simin's separation is made permanent and Termeh is asked to decide whether she wants to live with her mother or her father. Termeh tearfully says that she has made a decision, but requests that the judge ask her parents to wait outside in the hallway before revealing it. Nader and Simin are shown waiting silently and separately in the hallway, and the credits roll, with the viewer not learning of Termeh's decision
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