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Film Review -- ‘Runaway’

Don Leach

“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

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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

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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.

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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 stories.

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.


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