Did an affair between Marie-Anne (Berenice Bejo) and the married Samir (Tahar Rahim) compel Samir’s depressive wife to try to commit suicide?  This is the central question in The Past (2014), a film by Iranian director-writer Ashar Farhadi (A Separation) and one set in contemporary France.

The grip of the past is the most important theme here, but there are others:  the complications produced by what could be called the lust for love, even marital love; when divorce, however inevitable, fails to bring finality; the innocence of children over against the culpability of adults.  Though morose, it is a brilliant and probing film by a gifted man.  And his cast doesn’t let him down.  Bejo never sounds a false note at somberness or emotional outburst.

(In French with English subtitles)

Français : Berenice Bejo au festival de Cannes

Français : Berenice Bejo au festival de Cannes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)