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Sunless Shadows

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Iran, Norway
·
2022

1h 14m

Director Mehrdad Oskouei
Starring

Genre Documentary

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This humane documentary explores the lives of a group of adolescent girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center serving their sentences for the grave crime of murdering their father, their husband or another male family member.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

90

Screen Daily by

It’s a picture of love that has led first to desperation and incarceration, and now to a sort of suspended grief, as the girls and mothers face an uncertain future, unsure whether they will ever be reunited, hope mixing with fear to the last.
83

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

This is something different: an acknowledgement that, for many young women in Iran, prison may offer an escape from everyday horrors, to say nothing of the paradoxical freedom it affords them.
75

Slant Magazine by Diego Semerene

Redolent of Claude Lanzmann’s approach, Mehrdad Oskouei strips his images to their barest bones as his subjects openly speak about their traumas, as if trying to avoid aestheticizing their pain.
90

Variety by Guy Lodge

It 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 his subjects.