Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi's A Separation opens with a Rashomon-like question-and-answer session before an unseen judge. Husband Nader and wife Simin sit facing the camera, debating the necessity of a divorce Simin advocates. She insists on raising their 11-year-old daughter in a more equitable society, one not separated in terms of gender, class, religion and modern vs. traditional values.
Homes, dance clubs, and communal spaces spring to life in contemporary Tehran in producer/writer/director Maryam Keshavarz's debut feature film Circumstance. Focused on two teenage friends, 16-year-old Atafeh and Shireen, the story dramatizes the often hidden world within a privileged family that must deal with the repressive Iranian society, especially as it dictates women's behavior.
Iranian writer/director Abbas Kiarostami makes films that pursue a provocative topic rather than a narrative story. He reflects on suicide in Taste of Cherry, on community in The Wind Will Carry Us, and on filmmaking itself in Through the Olive Trees. In his latest work Certified Copy, a couple debate the nature of relationships, authenticity and aesthetics.