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Nader and Simin, A Separation ( جدایی نادر از سیمین, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin) is an Iranian drama film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi
, starring Leila Hatami
, Peiman Maadi
, 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.
Jodai Nader az Simin premiered on 9 February 2011 at the 29th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran. Six days later it played in Competition at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. The film is now being screened in movie theaters of Iran.
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 are 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. Her desire is not shared by Nader. He has concerns for his father, who lives with the family and suffers from Alzheimer's disease. When Nader firmly decides to stay in Iran, Simin files for a divorce.
The Family Court judges the couple's problems not to be grave enough and rejects Simin's application. Simin then leaves her husband and daughter and moves in with her mother. Nader hires Razieh, a young, pregnant and deeply religious woman from a poor suburb, selected by his wife, to be able to better take care of his father. Razieh has applied for the job without consulting her hot-tempered husband Hodjat, whose approval according to tradition would have been needed. Her family is however financially dependent on the work, and she brings her daughter with her.
Razieh soon becomes overworked by taking care of Nader's father and does not receive much pay. She becomes unsure whether her religion allows her to wash the old man who suffers from incontinence. Sooner or later she plans to pass the position to her husband, who is prevented because of debts to his creditors.
As Razieh one day needs to leave for a doctor's appointment, she ties the man to his bed and locks him in. However the man falls out of his bed and is discovered unconscious by Nader and Termeh. Outraged, Nader shoves Razieh out of the apartment when she arrives and calls her a criminal, whereupon she falls in the stairwell and loses her unborn child in the fourth month of pregnancy.
A court is assigned to determine Nader's guilt. If it can be proved that he had knowledge of Razieh's pregnancy, he will be charged for murder. At the same time Razieh is accused of abusing the old man. The rough and depressive Hodjat has to decide if Nader will face a prison sentence for murder attempt of Hodjat's unborn son or if Nader should pay a financial compensation. Nader's pride prevents him from paying the blood money, whereupon Termeh, Razieh's husband and a teacher in the school are heard.
Termeh protects her father with a false statement, while Simin contributes to the truth outside the court: she approaches Razieh, who refuses to swear on the Qur'an, in the street. Termeh's hope that her parents will reconcile is not fulfilled. She must decide before the Family Court whether she now wants to live with Nader or Simin.