UK, 2001, 87 min
The British filmmaker and the Iranian anthropologist made waves in 1998 with their first project, Divorce Iranian Style, which fully utilised the unprecedented access they were granted for filming in an Iranian divorce courtroom.
The equally intriguing Runaway follows the stories of five girls who have found temporary refuge in a Tehran shelter to avoid the myriad traumas of their home lives.
Runaway highlights both the strangeness and familiarity of Iranian culture. The adolescent girls are often sulky, hankering after jeans and bomber jackets, straining against parental control. The women running the shelter alternate between showing compassion for the many tears shed and striving to prepare the girls for the return to family lives that inevitably remain difficult.
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