Thursday March 8, 7:30pm
When Ava, a teen from Tehran, is discovered by her mother after hours of not knowing her whereabouts, she is immediately dragged to a gynecologist for closer inspection. This seemingly small breech in trust expands in implications when pondered by Ava, hitherto an exemplary pupil and teenager, who, frustrated and wounded by this event, is inspired to push back against the patriarchal strictures that enclose her every move. Beholden to a strict routine of school, violin lessons, and curfew, her desire for rebellion and emancipation is thwarted by the two institutions that largely predetermine the course of her life: family and school.
With this often infuriating and perceptive debut, Iranian-Canadian filmmaker Sadaf Foroughi mounts a focused critique through an equal dose of nuance and empathy. In recounting a story about a teenage girl who could have been born anywhere (but, of course, wasn’t), Foroughi obsessively observes the ways in which Ava’s cultural milieu shapes her actions and identity.
“How much of the pain of Sadaf Foroughi’s first feature…is the pain of being a teenager, and how much is it being a teenager at a particular place and time? How much is personal and how much is institutional, familial, cultural, social, political, architectural? These are the questions raised by Foroughi’s exquisite, unorthodox framings and reframings of her characters, each one posing a separate inquiry.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum
FIPRESCI Discovery Prize, Toronto International Film Festival 2017
Preceded by The Prince