Ava Screen 4 articles

Ava

2017

Ava Poster
  • Foroughi's visual storytelling is impressive: unconventional angles position Ava at the edge of the frame or partially obscure her and the figures around her, accentuating the character's feelings of ostracism, though she moves closer to the frame's center as her confidence grows.

  • Foroughi’s shrewd filmmaking uses the frame to advantage: the tightening of Ava’s constraints is matched by the tightening of the mise en scène around her, from the claustrophobic doorways and windows of her home and school to the actual frame of the camera pushing closer and closer in on her face as the film goes on, yielding several moments where Jabbari gazes back into the camera with the same force and power as Jean-Pierre Léaud’s fourth-wall-breaking glance at the end of The 400 Blows.

  • 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? How much is personal and how much is institutional, familial, cultural, social, political, architectural? These are the questions raised by Foroughi’s exquisite, unorthodox framings and reframings of her characters, each one posing a separate inquiry.

  • The movie barrels forward with a violent momentum that evokes Ava’s steely will, constantly dueling with a family and a culture that punch even harder than she does. Avasold out all its screenings faster than much starrier vehicles, which may be why the small but sterling distributor Grasshopper Films picked it up for U.S. release.