Mehrdad Oskouei

  • Mehrdad Oskouei – Sunless Shadows (2019)

    Mehrdad Oskouei2011-2020DocumentaryIran

    In an Iranian juvenile detention center, a group of adolescent girls serve their sentence for the grave crime of murdering their father, their husband or another male family member. Filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei built a remarkable relationship with these inmates, whose frank conversations and playful interactions he observes, and who privately open up about the consequences of, and sometimes the reasons for, their action.

    Occasionally he leaves them alone with the camera, allowing it to become a tool for them to address both their victims in the afterlife and their accomplices—three of the girls committed their father’s killing together with their mothers, who are now on death row.Read More »

  • Mehrdad Oskouei – Hamishe Baraye Azadi Dir Ast AKA It’s Always Late For Freedom (2006)

    2001-2010DocumentaryIranMehrdad Oskouei

    The portrait of three teenage boys being held in a youth corrections centre in Teheran, It’s Always Late for Freedom depicts the distress of a generation sacrificed on the altar of Iran’s profound social problems. Hardcore drugs, poverty, violence… these young men, hardly more than boys, seem more like victims than perpetrators. Entirely immersed in the everyday life of the prison, filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (The Other Side of Burka) won the young men’s trust, and they hold nothing back of their hurts, frustrations, hopes and confusion. The camera records their childish schemes, conversations with family, and the routine of prison life with intimate close-ups of faces and bodies that reveal their secret pain. A gripping story of childhood laid bare.Read More »

  • Mehrdad Oskouei – Royahaye dame sobh AKA Starless Dreams (2016)

    2011-2020DocumentaryIranMehrdad Oskouei

    “Sir, when people wonder if God is a man or woman,
    no one thinks God could be a woman!”

    An unforgettable portrayal of innocence lost and found, STARLESS DREAMS plunges us into the lives of young teenage girls sharing temporary quarters at a juvenile detention center on the outskirts of Tehran. Director Mehrdad Oskouei, one of Iran’s most prominent filmmakers, spent seven years securing access to this all-female facility. As the New Year approaches, the girls bond, and reveal—with playfully disarming honesty—the circumstances and acts that resulted in their incarceration. They have killed their father, robbed a bank, or were arrested for carrying 651 grams of cocaine. Outside the prison walls, danger is everywhere, even within their own families.Read More »

  • Mehrdad Oskouei – Az pase borghe AKA The Other Side of the Burka (2004)

    2001-2010DocumentaryIranMehrdad Oskouei

    Set in a tight-knit, extremely conservative island community off the Southern coast of Iran where all women wear burkas, this film begins as an investigation into the suicide of a woman named Samireh. Her husband callously says that while he cares about the lives of his kids, women’s lives are cheap. However, the women the director Oskouei interviews – many of whom were married off at age 12 or 13 – stand up for themselves and discuss their difficult existences. Oskouei relies mostly on close-up or medium-shot interviews, and as usual, displays his gift for framing people dynamically in tight spaces.Read More »

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