Ava

Canada/Iran/Qatar 2017. Dir: Sadaf Foroughi. 103 min. DCP

Iranian-born Montrealer Sadaf Foroughi’s establishes herself as a cinematic force with her debut feature. In Tehran, upper-middle-class teen Ava abides by a strict routine of school, violin lessons, and curfew. When Ava’s mistrustful and overprotective mother questions her relationship with a boy — going so far as to consult a gynecologist — Ava is stunned by this violation of privacy, which exacerbates her feelings of suffocation and isolation and further diminishes her trust in the adults regulating her life. That her parents, including her sympathetic but powerless father, seem more concerned with social optics than their daughter’s welfare only escalates Ava’s rebellious behavior, to life-altering effect. Foroughi renders her heroine's internal turmoil vividly. Each frame is stunningly composed, with scenes that offer a searing social critique while presenting a strong, richly-developed female character. — Magali Simard, TIFF


COARSE LANGUAGE; VIOLENCE
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REVIEWS

"[An] insightful feature debut ... Young actress Jabbari brings real intensity to Ava’s rebellion."

Hollywood Reporter | full review