Stranger Says: It’s not easy being a teenage girl in Iran. Girls are kept on a tight leash, and Ava fights against the constraints imposed on her by her school, her parents, and her society. The schoolgirls are watched closely for any “misconduct” by a maniacal principal and are berated and shamed for the smallest infraction. Also true, teenagers are annoying know-it-alls no matter where they’re from. Moody Ava doesn’t evoke much sympathy as she surrounds herself with melodrama, trying to exert herself in the narrow confines of what is allowed for her. Will she go too far in her rebellion or be scared straight?
by Gillian Anderson