Sadaf Foroughi / 2017 / 103 minutes / Canada, Iran

Based on her own adolescent experiences, Sadaf Foroughi’s Ava is a gripping debut about a young girl’s coming-of-age in a strict, traditional society. Living with her well-to-do parents in Tehran, Ava is a bright and focused teen whose concerns — friendships, music, social status, academic performance — resemble that of nearly any teenager. When Ava’s mistrustful and overprotective mother questions her relationship with a boy — going so far as to visit a gynecologist — Ava is overwhelmed by a newfound rage. Formerly a model student, Ava begins to rebel against the strictures imposed by her parents, her school, and the society at large.



→ Read Sadaf Foroughi’s First Take column on Mike Nichol’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

  • Critic’s Pick! “Exquisitely photographed… visually inventive… [a] remarkably controlled intensity… Ava looks repression in the eye and doesn’t flinch.”

    — Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
  • “Four Stars! A smart teenage thriller… made with superb technique and real style.”

    — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
  • “Gripping... an explosive visual grammar... a stirring study of Tehranian girlhood."

    — Danny King, The Village Voice
  • "Unforgettable. [Foroughi] sets the ever-tightening action in sparse but bright interiors that display a remarkable eye for light and composition to create a social drama reminiscent of Asghar Farhadi's tough work."

    — Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail
  • "Spellbinding. Its eponymous teenage girl is a rollicking blend between Persepolis and The 400 Blows‘ Antoine Doinel. Foroughi’s debut has a universal flair."

    — Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage
  • "A knock-out feature debut. Foroughi reframes the image of women in Iran in the staggering Ava."

    — Stephen Saito, Moveable Feast
  • "How much of the pain of Sadaf Foroughi’s first feature is the pain of being a teenager, and how much is it being a teenager at a particular place and time? These are the questions raised by Foroughi’s exquisite, unorthodox framings and reframings of her characters, each one posing a separate inquiry."

    — Jonathan Rosenbaum
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