Hush! Girls Don’t Scream

Iranian filmmakers are a tour de force in international film festival circuits. Filmmakers like Abbas Kiarsotami, Jafar Panahi, Samira Makhmalbaf, and Asghar Farhadi are frequently screened and praised at Cannes, Venice, Toronto, New York, and Hollywood. The recent wave of Iranian films making the rounds internationally are socially critical of conditions in Iran. Pouran Derakhshandeh's new film, "Hush! Girls Don't Scream" continues this tradition by having her film centred on pedophilia and the inequalities that plague the Iranian judiciary system.

Derakhshadneh's film begins with Shirin Naeimi (played by Tannaz Tabatabayi) in a bloodied wedding dressing confessing a murder to her soon-to-be husband. Immediately, we learn the man Shirin murdered sexually abused her as a child. Her motive was to prevent him from afflicting harm to other girls. In a series of flashbacks, we repeatedly see eight-year-old Shirin's claim not taken seriously by school officials and parents. In a review late last year, Variety, a leading Hollywood trade publication, summarized the intensity of the film, praising both Tabatabayi and the child actress who plays the 8-year-old Shirin, "[their] pain feels so raw that it can be hard to watch. But of course, we have to."

"Hush!" has won the Audience Award at the Fajr Film Festival (Iran), the top prize at the Irvine International Film Festival (USA), and the London Iranian Film Festival (UK).