Screen/Society--Middle East Film Series--"Starless Dreams"
(Mehrdad Oskouei, 2016, 76 min, Iran, in Persian w/ English subtitles, Color, Digital)
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.
-- Winner of multiple awards, including the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, the Inspiration Award and the Reva & David Logan Grand Jury Award at the 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Grierson Award at the 2016 London Film Festival, and many more!
"Roger Ebert once called the movies 'a machine that generates empathy,' and Starless Dreams ... is just such a machine. With the conceptual rigor and emotional directness associated with the best of Iranian cinema, Oskouei simply listens to the stories of those who have never been listened to before."
– Scott Tobias, Variety
Sponsored by the Duke University Middle Eastern Studies Center (DUMESC), the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES), and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI).
Screen/Society screenings are free and open to the public.