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The Past

Directed by Asghar Farhadi

France, 2013

Cornerhouse, 30 March 2014

The Past

There is a honesty about this film that I very much like: call it a fidelity to complexity or a refusal to simplify.

They are on the verge of divorce, Ahmad and Marie, yet there’s a vestige of passion still.  While Samir (Tahar Rahim, who played the young guy in The Prophet), Marie’s boyfriend/prospective partner, continues to carry a flame for his wife, who is in a coma.

The unfolding events are realistic yet revelatory, providing an explanation for the family tensions.

Two points of note: one, the children’s concerns have parity with the adults’; two, these people argue, shout, become passionate, but there is very little (I can’t quite say ‘no’) violence.  The bond of love is always present.

The Past is a moving, meticulously crafted film – compare, as a for instance, the final scene with the scene where Samir and Marie are driving in his car: the way the two couple’s hands are interwoven.

Splendid performances.  Wonderfully made.