SADAF FOROUGHI | IRAN, CANADA, QATAR | PERSIAN (w/ English subtitles) | 2017 | 113 MIN | NR
Like most teenagers, 16-year-old Ava is eager to assert her independence, frequently arguing with her parents and testing the limits of what she can get away with. But in the restrictive environment of contemporary Tehran, even Ava’s most minor infractions can lead to serious trouble. In writer/director Sadaf Foroughi’s gripping drama, a chaste encounter with a boy sets in motion a series of increasingly harsh responses from Ava’s overprotective mother, tyrannical school principal, and judgmental classmates. Based partially on events Foroughi’s own experiences of growing up in Iran, Ava creates an unforgettable portrait of a young woman striving desperately to assert herself in a suffocatingly strict society, and provides a blistering critique of female subjugation in the process.
Cast: Mahour Jabbari, Bahar Nouhian, Leili Rashidi, Vahid Aghapour
“Exquisitely photographed and visually inventive. Ava looks repression in the eye and doesn’t flinch.” -The New York Times