Islamic movie "A Separation"

I’m very conflicted. I was just-about to post online about the Iranian-made movie “A Separation” and recommend its merits when I read [our local, USA pastor is from Nigeria]:

**At Least 10 Killed as Muslim Homicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church During Mass**

Muslims blowing up churches.The horror turns your stomach. But criticizing Islam is the real crime. The world is on notice that criticizing Islam is the most serious crime against anti-humanity.

Where is the moral outrage?

**At Least 10 Killed as Suicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church During Mass CNS

JOS, Nigeria (AP) — A suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church Sunday in the middle of Mass, killing at least 10 people in the latest violence targeting a church in a central Nigerian city plagued by unrest, a state official said.
The bomb detonated as worshippers attended the final Mass of the day at St. Finbar’s Catholic Church in Jos, a city where thousands have died in the last decade in religious and ethnic violence. Security at the gate of the church’s compound stopped the suspicious car and the bomber detonated his explosives during an altercation that followed, Plateau state spokesman Pam Ayuba said…

Posted by Pamela Geller on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM in Global Jihad 2012

I wouldn’t call “A Separation” a pro-Islamic movie, but its context is an unapologetic view of modern Islamic culture. I want to praise the movie/condemn the Islamic, anti-Catholic bombing today in the same breath!

“A Separation” depicts a worldview imbued with a sense of sin and its spiritual consequences, albeit from a strictly-Islamic viewpoint. [By contrast: Several Popes have lamented a “loss of a sense of sin” as the quintessential defect of modern, Western society.] All of the social struggles affecting the family and marriage in the West are visited in the elements of the Movie. Underlying all the plots and subplots is the existential dynamic of the spiritual relationship between God and each individual, and between family members in-turn. Absolute truth is visited as a very adult reality, one which marital discord forces unfairly-prematurely into the consciousness of their children.

A merit-able theme of “A Separation” is that of the good of the child. Both husband and wife have a different viewpoint and criterion of what constitutes that “good”. Similarly, each spouse has differing views of what constitutes their own “good”. Caught in the mix are the realities of family finances, needs of aging parents, civil-judicial shortcomings, aspirations of individual family members (“self-actualization” in Western lingo) – and ultimately: their marriage itself!

“A Separation” supersedes cultural differences in exploring the limits of marital and familial changes in modern times. I highly-recommend everyone see the film as I cannot praise the work enough as an exquisite, artistic expression! My only regret is that having to read the subtitles is distracting from watching the actors’ and the filmography. I hope to view it again and be able to capture more o f the drama.

I was stuck by vocal comments from the theater ticket agent and some other patrons sharing that it may be a “sad movie” – as-if divorce or marital separation is EVER a “happy” event! Are we so-dishonest as a society that we cannot admit the blatant effects of our common ways? How are we to improve if we cannot freely-voice the ill-effects of our common ways? This is no Disney romance; nor is real life.

“A Separation” challenges conceptions espoused by Catholic Marriage Encounter and by Western feminist cultural changes. The film is really about two married couples and their families, as they interact through a series of choices and social pressures. The lead Iranian couple is an example of one struggling toward equality of the spouses. The film seems to suggest the accidental death of a child as the “cost” for the exercise of the wife’s equality struggle. Earlier, the same wife was told by the divorce judge that her struggle for “self-actualization” for herself and their daughter was “a small problem”. The wife and daughter are forced to live with the resulting child murder/death resulting from the disorder introduced by the wife’s actions. The film doesn’t easily lend itself to trite moral dictums, though the struggles depicted are no different from those of Western, secular and Christian couples.

“A Separation” gives rise to many, many doubts of how our own Western courts and Catholic tribunals deal now with marital discord.

Praying for peace to the true God of Abraham

I’m not getting your point here! are you trying to say that secularism affect our religious life one way or another?

Definitely! Just look at the current controversy over Obamacare dictating that Christians violate their beliefs and practices protecting life! But let us return to the movie, the reason for this thread.

In Catholicism, there has been a longstanding teaching that in every marriage, the good of the child supersedes considerations of the good of the spouses [cf. Denzinger 2295.] Divorce violates this doctrine by placing the “good of the spouses” above that of the child. The movie, “A Separation”, in exploring divorce, seems to evoke a new concept: Is there a “good of the family?” If so: Who gets to determine what it is?

The dual, official plot synopses used in ads depict the conundrum of the good of the child:
* Wanting to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh, Simin makes all the necessary arrangements. However, her husband Nader refuses to leave behind his father who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
* Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, “A Separation” tells the story of a married couple who are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer’s.

Nader believes the “good of their child”, Termeh, is to learn the sacrifices of honoring one’s family responsibilities toward one’s parents. He wishes to care for his dying father the only way he can, by caring for him within his humble apartment while continuing his employment. He needs the support of his wife and child to be able to exercise his own assumed responsibility toward his ailing father. Further, keeping his family united is more important to him than “unknown opportunities” Simin envisions for Termeh outside Iran.

The film is really more about the struggle between wives and husbands for determining what is best for the good of the family. In Western, secular culture, this struggle is one exacerbated by feminism and by the Church’s acquiescence without teaching viable solutions. What is “the good of family” if members can be discarded, like the aborted unborn, or the feeble elderly members?

In the end, “A Separation” shows the true cost of divorce: The mutilating pain inflicted upon children-of-divorce. This is a prolific form of child abuse with no end in sight!

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