With striking perceptiveness and empathy, Sunless Shadows depicts life in an Iranian juvenile detention centre where teenage girls serve time for the murder of male family members.
Filled with remarkably intimate scenes, Sunless Shadows focuses on a juvenile detention centre in Tehran, where a group of young women talk together, share meals and collectively care for a baby, finding community within their confinement. They are all serving sentences for the murder of a male family member.
The teenagers, themselves victims of abuse, talk frankly about the circumstances (and the society) which led them to this place, contemplating their actions and their uncertain futures.
Their trusting relationship with director Mehrdad Oskouei – whose 2016 Starless Dreams was filmed in the same detention centre – is evident as they share their innermost feelings and doubts.
Ultimately, Oskouei’s strikingly perceptive film reveals a closed, all-female environment that is both a prison and a shelter from an aggressively male-dominated society.