Watching the superlative Iranian film A Separation, I was reminded of Bleak House, Dickens’s account of a dispute grinding through the wheels of justice and dragging down all involved except those who abandon legal maneuvering to settle matters on a compassionate, person-to-person basis. All this is on display in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning movie, but with one crucial difference: Dickens indicts the legal system itself, while Farhadi’s script makes...
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