Mahour Jabbari, Bahar Noohian, Parnian Akhtari, Sarah Alimoradi
New from Iranian-born, Montreal-based filmmaker Sadaf Foroughi is this superb coming of age story, screened to acclaim at TIFF, about a teenage girl whose life is dictated by the constraints of her conservative, patriarchal community in Tehran.
After an act of betrayal by her mother, Ava (Mahour Jabbari) feels increasingly compelled to rebel against the strictures imposed by her parents, her school, and Iranian societal norms stifling female creativity and self-expression. That her parents, including her sympathetic but powerless father, seem more concerned with social optics than their daughter’s welfare only escalates her rebellious behaviour to life-altering effect.
Visually stunning, Foroughi’s composed and exploratory drama offers a searing social critique of the wider discrimination against women, while featuring a strong, richly developed and complex young female protagonist, pushed to the limits as she fights to find her voice.