In A Separation, Farhadi also shows one way in which the possibility of diyya, what we call ‘Blood Money’ works. Diyya is a form of restorative justice, though the English name for it is somewhat pejorative, and despite the fact that it is an ancient practice, it is not considered when we ‘civilized’ Westerners look for models of restorative justice. In one of Farhadi’s previous films, Beautiful City, and in this one, he uses this practice to bring out the dynamics between his characters in a very stark manner. In the real world, the practice empowers the plaintiff and the accused to make their own peace rather than leaving all power with the state.
from Judy Bello's entry on Fellowship of Reconciliation:
I just saw Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation last night. I’m not going to send formal reviews (do I ever?) but I just want to share my feeling that it is a really great film.
....One aspect of the film surprised me because it wasn’t the aspect of the film that was publicized. Farhadi’s depiction of the Iranian justice system as chaotic, overwhelmed, but intensely immediate and direct, is quite powerful as a ground for other aspects of the drama.... One might say that the film gives an insight into what might be right about the Iranian system in comparison with our own.