IRAN'S multi award-winning film starts quite confrontingly with two of the main characters addressing the camera.
Middle class professionals Nader and Sirin are seeking a divorce and they're in court putting their cases.
The magistrate has his back to us and he listens as Nader (Peyman Moadi) explains that he can't leave Teheran to live overseas because his elderly father needs constant assistance.
Sirin (Leila Hatami) is desperate to flee her homeland. Their visa is running out and she wants to take their 11-year-old daughter Termeh and go.
Denied a divorce they agree to a trial separation. Sirin leaves the family home and goes to live with her mother.
Into the lives of Nader and Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) to care for the Alzheimer-afflicted elderly man comes Razieh, a woman from a much poorer, traditional family.
She cannot afford to have someone look after her daughter. So she brings the girl to work with her.
And Razieh (Sareh Bayat) has another problem. When she realises she will have to wash the body of a man who is not her husband, she must obtain religious dispensation from her Imam.
One day the old man slips out of the house and wanders. An argument between Nader and Razieh develops about how this has happened.
There may or may not have been a push, but Razieh topples over on the stairs and the parties end up in court.
It's something that Nader doesn't like at all considering he's been there quite recently. In the background the bespectacled Termeh has seen all – and says little.
Razieh's husband is desperate for a monetary payout to help him battle his way out of an escalating debt problem.
In the end, along with the judicial ruling, it's the sensitive Termeh who must make the biggest moral choice of all. The judge asks her to decide which parent she will live with.
A Separation won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards.