STARLESS DREAMS (2016)

Iran (MIFF 2016 , Documentaries)
Director: Mehrdad Oskouei

"Mehrdad Oskouei's extraordinarily empathetic documentary has the conceptual rigor and emotional directness of the best Iranian cinema." – Variety

Incarceration isn't the biggest fear some Iranian teenagers face. For a group of under-18-year-old girls taken into custody for crimes ranging from pickpocketing to drug-dealing to murder, life on the inside is tough; however, given their troubled backgrounds, the world that awaits them upon release just might prove even tougher.

After delving into male juvenile delinquency in It's Always Late for Freedom and The Last Days of Winter, writer/director Mehrdad Oskouei turns his attention to the female experience of law and order in Iran. Having spent seven years seeking permission to shoot within a heavily armed rehabilitation and correction centre on the outskirts of Tehran, the acclaimed documentarian approaches his task with simplicity and understanding. Chiefly comprised of candid direct-to-camera interviews, the film that results proves both eye-opening and heartbreaking in exposing the plight of marginalised women trapped by the forces of poverty, patriarchy and imprisonment.

Winner of the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival and the True Vision Award at the 2016 True/False Film Festival.

"Grabs the heart ... Mehrdad Oskouei's reputation as one of Iran's finest documentary filmmakers grows film by film." – Hollywood Reporter

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