Posted by: ritagone | February 8, 2012

A Separation (with text)

Sorry about the goofy post last night.  Just when I was about to save a draft of this blog, my husband came into my office to talk to me, and I inadvertently hit “publish” rather than “save draft.”  This is the corrected blog…it actually has text!!  Enjoy!

Saw an interesting film today with my movie club.  By the way, I love my movie club.  We call ourselves MOM (Movie of the Month), because that title gives us a great deal of credibility.  “My MOM group is meeting,” we can say, and it sounds like a solid bunch of mothers meeting for, well, matronly, motherly things.  Not a bunch of women – and now quite a few husbands who also come along – who are just out for pure plain fun and discussion and a meal together.  Which – let’s face it – is what we’re really all about.  Somehow I have become the default leader: we meet the first Tuesday of the month, and a few days before that, I start scouring the local movies to see what’s playing.  There’s an advantage and a disadvantage to this.

The advantage is that I automatically get to eliminate anything I don’t want to see.  I can pick and choose and present via email to the ladies those movies that I think are worth seeing.  And if I don’t happen to like anything that’s playing in the local theaters (and we have quite a few local multi-plexes to choose from), I can always suggest that we gather at my house to watch something on our large screen TV.  That’s always fun: bring food to share, eat together and then go into the living room to watch the movie and then discuss it.  We rate each film on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest, and we actually think this is significant enough to write down our results and email them to all of the ladies so that those who couldn’t make it can see what they missed.  It’s gotten to the point that if you couldn’t make it to the movie, you at least can check your email to see how everyone voted.

The downside of being the leader of the group is that if I pick something everyone hates, I get a lot of glares.  So I have to sort of think of the ladies (and gentlemen) in the group and project what I think they would like.  Unless I get a bit rebellious and pick something that I think will be controversial and thus engender lots of discussion and argument.  I like when that happens.  Who wants a bunch of ladies sitting around the table agreeing on everything?  Not me.

Anyway, today the movie was an Iranian film called “A Separation,” and I would have bypassed it had a few of the ladies in the group not already seen it and recommended it.  It turned out to be one of those little sleeper films that is quite amazing to watch.  You have to watch very carefully and pay attention, not only because of the subtitles but because it moves so fast between characters and plot, which weaves in and out of a morality play that has you engrossed for the entire two hours.

Very rarely does a film garner a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is well deserved.

As a Christian, I found it very interesting that this film hit on a biblical message, most likely without even realizing it: we are all culpable, we are all sinners, none of us escapes blame in the situations life finds us in.  A man’s wife wants a divorce because she wants a better life outside Iran for their daughter.  He refuses because his father has Alzheimer’s and he will therefore not leave him behind.  Who is right and who is wrong here?  She leaves him, so he must hire a woman to care for his father while he is at work.  Out of this situation springs the next level of problems.  This woman has a reprobate husband, things escalate to a dramatically tense level, and before you know it, lives are at stake, lines are being crossed, and everything is up in the air morally and ethically.  Even the ending fits well with the rest of the movie.

I can’t say any more.  You must see it for yourself.  I think you will come away with a few very strong emotions.

One will be that you will have a very strong appreciation for the fact that you don’t live in Iran, particularly if you are a woman.  Another is that, as I said, even non-believers often portray the strong biblical message that every person is a sinner in one way or another.  This message leeches into the entire movie in more ways than one.

Have I convinced you to see it?  I hope so.  Or at least to rent it when it comes out on DVD.  It’s well worth the time and money spent doing so.  Try to watch it with a few friends so that you can discuss it afterwards, because, I can promise you, there will be plenty of opportunity for some lively talk later.

And if you have a chance to form one, I heartily recommend a movie club.  It’s a great way to watch movies and have some great fellowship at the same time.

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