Separating Parents and Their Daughters

I recently had the experience of viewing two new films; MONEYBALL (2011 directed by Glen Miller and written by Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin) and A SEPARATION (2011 directed and written by Asghar Farhardi).

The difference between the way adolescent daughters facing separations between their biological parents is quite striking. Certainly the circumstances for these young adolescents – approximately 12 years old – are not the same; one set of parents are divorced; the other are temporarily separated perhaps leading to a permanent one. Yet the portrait of the daughters’ responses and handling of these difficult circumstances could hardly be more different.

In the Hollywood film MONEYBALL, the daughter appears to be an enthusiastic smart youth who is also a songwriter who composes a piece about her dilemma, which she also beautifully sings. She is open, clear and articulate.

The Iranian daughter, who actually witnesses much of the parental conflict throughout the film, is portrayed as a serious student with a curious mind who tries to please both of her parents.
However throughout much of the film, she looks like she is deeply conflicted and can barely contain her sadness.

Has a Hollywood film ever portrayed a similar situation to such a searing and devastating affect as in the Iranian film? Perhaps, but one has to credit A SEPARATION for portraying the potentially damaging impact of martial conflict on children like I have never seen before. A hard situation beautifully dramatized.

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