UCR ARTS has a new website! Please visit us at https://ucrarts.ucr.edu This site is archived and will no longer be updated as of 2/22/22.

Starless Dreams

Directed by: Mehrdad Oskouei

2016 | Iran | 76 minutes | Unrated


Friday, June 9, 2017, 7pm


Saturday, June 10, 2017, 3pm


Saturday, June 10, 2017, 7pm

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.

With startling frankness and “the conceptual rigor and emotional directness associated with the best of Iranian cinema” (Variety), Starless Dreams delivers an unforgettable portrayal of innocence lost and found. 

"An extraordinary film. Starless Dreams captures a rare, sorrowful, infinitely complex milieu." – Michelle Orange, Village Voice

"Poignant and authentic." – Vox Magazine

"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

"Mehrdad Oskouei's reputation as one of Iran’s finest documentary filmmakers grows film by film. Starless Dreams is the perfect example of how powerful simplicity can be, when it's underpinned by compassion for its subject." – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

Events in Focus