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The Guardian by
[A] brilliant documentary.
Village Voice by
The world needs to see this spare, revelatory film and hear these girls' pained and sometimes proud confessions.
The New York Times by
If Starless Dreams inspires conflicted feelings in viewers, it may be by design. It’s hard not to want to flee, and it’s hard to look away.
Slant Magazine by
Mehrdad Oskouei avoids sentimentalizing the girls or tritely lamenting their stolen innocence.
The Hollywood Reporter by
Starless Dreams (Royahaye Dame Sobh), shot in a juvenile correctional facility for girls under the age of 18, is the perfect example of how powerful simplicity can be, when it’s underpinned by compassion for its subject.
Starless Dreams is a fascinating and humane view of the marginalised and forgotten. The girls' voices rise as a startlingly powerful chorus, questioning, challenging and demanding we listen.
The A.V. Club by
What distinguishes Starless Dreams is Oskouei’s voice, heard from off screen, getting these girls to be honest about where they’ve come from and why they’re less than anxious to return.
With the conceptual rigor and emotional directness associated with the best of Iranian cinema, Oskouei simply listens to the stories of those who have never been listened to before. Their shattering testimony, elegantly harmonized in a chorus of stolen childhood, has universal appeal.
Time Out London by
These young women have already witnessed enough horror to last a lifetime, and in this unforgiving society their lot seems unlikely to improve. A grim but necessary watch.