Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei
2020, 74 minutes
The follow-up to Oskoueis critically acclaimed Starless Dreams, Sunless Shadows takes another look at the lives of teenage girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center. But this time the focus is narrowed: each of the films principal subjects is serving time for the murder of a male family member. One by one, Oskouei invites them to go into a room alone, push the red button on the camera and address their their victims or accomplices--three of the girls having killed their fathers with the help of their mothers, who now wait on deathrow.
With this new confessional approach combined with the ever-deepening relationships he has with his subjects, Oskouei presents a picture of the disenfranchised in this aggressively male-dominated society and of the prison that is their shelter from it.
Subjects & Collections
Festivals & Awards
Amsterdam IDFA 2019 - WINNER - Award for Best Directing
Göteborg Film Festival 2020 - Official Selection
MoMA Doc Fortnight 2020 - Official Selection
Reviews"[Sunless Shadows] interrogates the notion of victimhood, while tacitly letting a damning essay on Iranian gender politics and hierarchies emerge through the words of his subjects...It says everything that many of these long-mistreated young women finally find liberty in incarceration; the great grace of Oskouei’s subtly devastating film is that he doesn’t take it upon himself to say so."
A stark testimonial of the previously unseen and unheard, award-winning Starless Dreams plunges us into the lives of young teenage girls sharing temporary quarters at a rehabilitation and correction center on the outskirts of Tehran. An unforgettable cinematic portrayal of restored innocence and humanity Starless Dreams is the last installment of the groundbreaking documentary trilogy Youth Behind Bars: The Iran Trilogy.
THE LAST DAYS OF WINTER
Following his harrowing documentary, It's Always Late for Freedom, director Mehrdad Oskouei continues his exploration of a male juvenile detention facility near Tehran. Last Days of Winter follows these young men in the days leading up to the Iranian New Year, as they take stock of their lives.
IT’S ALWAYS LATE FOR FREEDOM
Acclaimed filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei provides a rare glimpse into an all-male juvenile detention facility in Iran. It's Always Late for Freedom is the first film of Oskouei's trilogy documenting troubled youth in Iran, preceding The Last Days of Winter (2011) and Starless Dreams (2016).