Here's a story. Urban-dwelling middle-class couple, one bright school-age daughter. Nice apartment, good part of town. Husband and wife juggle the demands of their respective careers and the twice-daily school run with the obligations of extended family (the husband's Alzheimer's-afflicted father is living with them). But the marriage is unravelling.
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She wants to relocate – abroad – he doesn't. She moves out, they hire a home-helper for the old man – a poor working-class woman from the sticks. Bad things happen and a tricky situation becomes despairingly awful for all concerned. And this compelling human tragedy of truth and lies and communication breakdown plays out where? North London? Paris? The Upper West Side of New York? Tel Aviv?
The fictional action I'm describing is the plot of A Separation, the remarkable film that won the Oscar on Sunday in the Best Foreign Language category. Its setting is Tehran.
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