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Iran, Canada, Qatar · 2017
1h 42m
Director Sadaf Foroughi
Starring Mahour Jabbari, Vahid Aghapoor, Parnian Akhtari, Sarah Alimoradi
Genre Drama

Living with her well-to-do parents in Tehran, Ava is a bright and focused teen whose concerns — friendships, music, social status, academic performance — resemble that of nearly any teenager. But when pressured by her suspicious and overprotective mother, Ava begins to rebel against against the strictures imposed by her school and the society at large.

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75 by

A contemporary, gradually darkening coming-of-age tale of an Iranian teenage girl in Tehran, feel so familiar that universal is the only apt way to characterize them.


Village Voice by Danny King

Foroughi’s movie surveys how the mounting external pressures in Ava’s life bring her to a near-breaking point, and the director has devised (with the cinematographer, Sina Kermanizadeh) an explosive visual grammar to approximate the depths of Ava’s isolation and pain.


Slant Magazine by Jake Cole

The film's constant cruelty is so inescapable that it starts to feel unfair not only to the protagonist, but to Iran itself.


The New York Times by Jeannette Catsoulis

Lurching relentlessly from one conflict to another, the movie distills its emotions — and maintains its momentum — in conversations of remarkably controlled intensity.


IndieWire by Kate Erbland

It’s gut-punch cinema, uneasy and unpredictable, though Foroughi keeps it clicking right along into the rare open ending that feels earned.


The Playlist by Lena Wilson

This is one of the most thoughtful films about the female experience to debut in recent years, and should be mandatory viewing for anyone eager to engage with confidently-made, skillful art cinema.

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