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Virtual Cinema: Sunless Shadows

In an Iranian juvenile detention center, a group of adolescent girls are serving time for having murdered their father, husband or another male family member.
(NR, 74 min.)

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(A viewing link will be available the week of August 7th)

The follow-up to Oskouei’s critically acclaimed Starless Dreams (2016), 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 film’s 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 accomplices or their victims.
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. [The Cinema Guild]

Director: Mehrdad Oskouei
Genre: Documentary
Languages: Persian w/ English Subtitles

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"Oskouei's documentary presents an agonizing view of patriarchal power in public and private life, law and custom alike."

— Richard Brody, New Yorker

"Quietly but pointedly interrogates the notion of victimhood, while tacitly letting a damning essay on Iranian gender politics and hierarchies emerge through the words of [its] subjects. 'Sunless Shadows' never gives off the impression of extracting feelings from its subjects: Rather, it receptively gives them a platform they've hitherto been denied."

— Guy Lodge, Variety