Nader and Simin—A Separation: A Deconstructive Reading

Document Type : Research Article


Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


Nader and Simin—A Separation is the first Iranian movie which won many
international awards as well as admiration from critics and the public. Many reviews
by critics, however, have revolved around problems in spousal relationships of
couples in different social classes of Iran. Through highlighting the self-evident
dismantling elements and unreliable readings in the acting, directing, and even the
scenario of Nader and Simin—A Separation, this article argues that besides the
couples’ disagreement, the central concern of the story is the multi-interpretations of
dialogues by the characters throughout the story. These multi-interpretations have
their roots in the reversal of social codes which itself can be the result of the transition
of a traditional Iranian society to a modern one. Applying a deconstructive approach
for the analysis of Nader and Simin—A Separation is not an imposed critical practice;
indeed, it is suggested by the movie itself, owing to the presence of a host of binary
oppositions, misspoken, and slipperiness of meaning. By drawing on these elements,
various components of the movie are examined through a deconstructive approach
including the title, class privileges, audience response, suspending techniques, and
unreliable language to reveal the disguised values in a transitory period.