DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

 
IT'S ALWAYS LATE FOR FREEDOM (director/writer: Mehrdad Oskouei; cinematographer: Ashkan Ashkani; editor: Loghman Khaledi; music: Ali Samadpour; cast: Ali, Sajjid, Vahid; Runtime: 52; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Mehrdad Oskouei; Sheherazad Media International; 2008-Iran-in Farsi with English subtitles)

"It gives the foreign viewer a rough idea of prisoner treatment for juveniles inside an Iranian correction facility."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei ("The Other Side of the Burka"/"Nose Iranian Style") directs this documentary about teenage boy inmates in a juvenile correction center in Tehran. It covers the routines of the center and the boys' reactions to being there. The ten teens observed are in prison for crimes such as crack addiction, stabbing and stealing. They're all homesick, missing their mothers.

Their prison life starts with a buzz cut. Their routines include daily Moslem prayers, regular visits by a cheerful Moslem cleric, play time and TV time, work details and on Tuesday only visits by their relations.

The film consists of someone unseen and unidentified asking the inmates softball questions. The most talkative prisoner is a 13-year-old crack addict named Vahid, who received a two month sentence when his mom had him arrested after she gave him two months to quit his habit and he didn't. The common thread among the prisoners is that they have family problems that they can't cope with.

It's not a particularly revealing film, but it gives the foreign viewer a rough idea of prisoner treatment for juveniles inside an Iranian correction facility.

REVIEWED ON 10/14/2011       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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