The Past

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi follows his masterful A Separation (2011) with another elaborate moral puzzle, though this one, his first film to be shot in France, is notably devoid of the Islamic fundamentalism that figured so heavily in the earlier drama. Patient, empathetic Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) travels from Tehran to Paris to finalize his divorce from short-tempered Marie (Berenice Bejo); after lodging in her home, he gets pulled into an anguished drama involving her and her new fiance, Samir (Tahar Rahim), as well as the man’s resentful young son and Marie’s angry teenage daughter. This fragile new family is haunted by a tragedy that occurred some years earlier, and in scenes of arresting immediacy, they blame one another and grapple with their own guilt. In French and Persian.