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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.)

(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