The Past

France (dir. Asghar Farhadi)

“An intricate and often brilliant drama, with restrained and intelligent performances; there is an elegantly patterned mosaic of detail, unexpected plot turns, suspenseful twists and revelations.” – The Guardian

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi follows up the breakout success of the Oscar-winning A Separation (MIFF 2011) with another intimate drama that delves unflinchingly into familial turmoil.

Returning to Paris from Tehran in order to finalise his divorce with Marie (Bérénice Bejo in her Cannes 2013 Best Actress Award-winning role), Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) finds the situation has not become any less complicated in his lengthy absence: Marie's new partner (Tahar Rahim, Our Children, MIFF 2012) is now living in the house with his own child and Marie’s teen daughter from an earlier marriage disapproves; but her simmering anger has deeper roots in unresolved issues from the past.

Unmasking their motivations and sentiments at a measured pace, Farhadi's sympathy for each of his characters manifests exquisitely in this powerful piece of filmmaking.

“An exquisitely sculpted family melodrama in which the end of a marriage is merely the beginning of something else, an indelible tapestry of carefully engineered revelations and deeper human truths.” – Variety

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© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

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