All eyes on Iranian cinema: Nader & Simin

Iranian cinema is about to get a whole lot more interesting with Asghar Farhadi’s “Nader & Simin: A separation,” which in theory should be shown here in limited release in about two months.

Shot in semi-clandestinity in Tehran, “Nader & Simin” provides us with an unforgiving gaze unto a couple on the verge of separation. Nader’s father is found to have Alzheimer’s disease and a caretaker is hired to help him make it through the debilitating disease. Class differences and the slow disintegration of the couple’s life are the order of the day.

The 2011 feature film, which is getting released in Europe this week, earned Farhadi a Golden Bear for directing at the last Berlin Film Festival; his cast won  both Best Acting awards (Peiman Ma’adi/Shahab Hosseini and Leila Hatami/Sareh Bayat, respectively) there, also.

This is not the first drama feature film out of Iran to get noticed. For years noted filmmakers like Jafar Panahi, Bahman Ghobadi and Abbas Kiarostami have made the rounds of international film festivals, and successfully so, and found legion fans among arthouse movie-goers. But critical reaction to this latest effort by the “About Elly” (2009) director has been unusually eager.

Our review of “Nader & Simin: A separation” will appear on Saturday.