Domestic truths are explored in The Past

Academy award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi presents a expertly structured dissection of the fraying lines of love, commitment and detachment between a couple on the verge of divorce in The Past.

This is the next movie showing in the Kitchen Stove Film Series and income development initiative of the Penticton Art Gallery.

Following a four-year separation, Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returns to Paris from Tehran upon his estranged french wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo/The Artist) request to finalize their divorce procedure. Despite his resolve to remain detached, he’s soon drawn back into fresh emotional turbulence with the revelations that Marie is on the point of marrying again, to another immigrant, Samir (Tahar Rahim/A Prophet). During his tense, brief stay Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her teenage daughter Lucie (Pauline Burlet) from a previous liaison who is adamantly opposed to the union. Ahmad’s efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from the past.

A gracious meeting at the airport quickly dissolves into acrimonious bickering.

The film director Farhadi discovered within himself an artistic sensibility that led him to study writing and to immerse himself in the world of theatre and cinema. During his 10 years of study, he directed six short films and wrote and directed two series for television. Farhadi won prestigious awards for his film A Separation at the Berlin Film Festival, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

For all the new film’s obvious similarities to A Separation, not least in the way it reveals how conversation and communication are two entirely different things, The Past pulls the viewer inexorably deeper into the lives of half-a-dozen individuals tied to each other by blood or marriage and struggling to break free but caught up in their own neuroses and conflicted emotions.

The film is an exploration of clotted family relationships set against the difficult struggles of an immigrant community trying to establish itself in a foreign country.

Film critics said the director has proven he can craft a domestic drama that has all the tension of a thriller and can churn complex emotions, suspense, guilt and regret in his thickly knotted and compelling tales.

Tickets for The Past can be pre-purchased at the Penticton Art Gallery or The Book Shop for $13. The movie will be screened at the Landmark Cinema 7 at 4 and 7 p.m. on March 13.

Tickets may also be available at the door, depending on seating availability, for $15.

The Kitchen Stove Film Series intends to broaden the definition of the visual arts to include the medium of film. The series aims to inspire, challenge, educate and entertain while showcasing excellence in the cinematic arts.

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