Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

Sunless Shadows (2020)

A special subject matter accompanied by intriguing characters are sometimes all that a film needs. But when the execution is done skilfully and beautifully as well, the results are something quite exceptional. Such is the case with Mehrdad Ouskoei’s documentary Sunless Shadows.

A group of cheerful young women are out in a yard playing hopscotch to the sound of birds singing. Inside, they’re playing with a small infant and enjoying board games. Then suddenly they are sitting sombrely amongst rows of bunk beds, in solitude. There is a wall outside on the yard which separates the girls from the outside world.

The girls are convicted of being complicit to murdering their fathers, husbands or brother-in-laws. They are from homes where fathers beat up their families and some have been forced into abusive marriages at a young age. Almost everyone has a mother locked up in a different penitentiary, convicted of the same crime.

Oskouei tells the terrifying tales of these women in a tactful and lively way without dodging any hard questions. The film respects the voices of the girls and mothers, creating an atmosphere of trust, so that the women may candidly reveal to the camera their personalities, grieves and hopes – even the reasons, which make a person kill someone close to them.

Jaana Semeri
Translation: Aki Pitkäkoski

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Film Title : Sunless Shadows
Language : persia
Director : Mehrdad Oskouei
Year : 2019
Length : 74
Age limit : K12
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Mehdi Azadi
Editing : Amir Adibparvar
Music : Afshin Azizi
Producer : Mehrdad Oskouei, Carsten Aanonsen, Siavash Jamali
Production Company : Oskouei Film Production

Screenings :
Wed 29.1. at 17.00, Orion, followed by a Q&A with director Mehrdad Oskouei and producer Siavash Jamali
Fri 31.1. at 18.30, Orion, followed by a Q&A with director Mehrdad Oskouei and producer Siavash Jamali
Sat 1.2. at 20.45, Kinopalatsi 1