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This article is taken from PN Review 204, Volume 38 Number 4, March - April 2012.

A Letter from Paris Marilyn Hacker
August in Paris began this year with a personal film festival. None of the worthwhile new films and spring festival favourites will be released till September, but the cinemas in neighbourhoods where there's a public (mine and many others) make use of the time to re-release films by directors who have had recent successes. One of these was the Iranian Asghar Faradhi. I had missed his newest film, Une Séparation, when it came out in the spring, so L. and I went to see it at MK2 Beaubourg, across the street from the Pompidou Centre, and noted that two other films of Faradhi's were also being shown on alternate nights.Une Séparation, the story of a middle-class Tehran couple, with a pre-adolescent daughter, on the verge of divorce, and its inadvertent cross-class repercussions, of relations between the middle and working class, between men and women, between parents and children of three generations, impressed both of us sufficiently that we planned to come back the following week to see both of Faradhi's other films while they were still playing.

On Sunday the 7th I went to Vénus Khoury-Ghata's to have lunch, with our mutual friend Antoine Jockey, one of the best translators of poetry from Arabic into French, and a cultural correspondent/literary critic for two Beirut newspapers, accompanied by his middle-American girlfriend Kerry, who is finishing her doctoral thesis at NYU. Over baked stuffed eggplant and tabbouleh, I praised Faradhi's film. Vénus and Antoine (who is 43, some 30 years younger ...


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