A Separation, the first Iranian film to win an Academy Award, is a gripping family drama about a couple tied up in family court. The wife/mother (Leila Hatami) wants to leave the country, the husband/father (Peyman Moaadi, The Night Of) feels obligated to stay and care for an ill parent. Things get complicated after an act of violence, which is then reexamined time and again, each permutation shedding a little more light on a widening and complex drama. It's like if Hitchcock directed Kramer vs. Kramer.
Farhadi's follow-up, 2013's The Past, starring The Artist's Bérénice Bejo, is a one of those rich, enormous stories with a slew of characters all connecting with one another in different ways. There is conflict among them, but each entanglement is bursting with humanity. (Both The Past and A Separation are rentable on Amazon.)