“Runaway” is a telling documentary about the lives of young women who
end up in a social services center in Tehran, Iran.
The center serves as a temporary safe haven for runaway girls with
nowhere to go. The girls arrive here because they have run away from
problems at home. Usually, the abuse involves the male side of the
family, starting with the father and brothers.
But the “mums” can be just as bad. In particular, listen to a girl who
openly tells about her mother wanting to set her on fire because the
stepfather wants to rape her. You see the frustration and confusion as
the girl tells her story.
You don’t see violence or signs of physical abuse here, only the tears
that follow. The emotions show how difficult it is to live in a land
where police from the “battling social corruption” unit bring you in.
Intimate dialogue about virginity certificates and proper public
conduct are shared among the girls while the camera remains invisible.
Problems are sorted out by the staff, who act as mediators between family
members. The interaction between the social worker and the runaways tells
The film shows that social problems are truly international, with just
the rules being different. Do these women have a chance? After seeing
this, you might think they do in Iran today.
* “Runaway” will be shown in the Lido Theater at 6 p.m. Thursday.