Arrested for riding pillion on a motorbike with a male friend, Tehran schoolgirl Nasrine (Micsha Sadeghi, an Iranian-American) is later assaulted in police custody. After her release, her family decide to smuggle her out of Iran for her own protection, accompanied by older brother Ali (Shiraz Haq, British-born). It’s next stop Tyneside, as they wait to have their asylum claim processed, and new freedoms present their own challenges: her experiences cast a shadow, while he’s torn between religion and sex.
This enterprising micro-budget drama from Newcastle-based Iranian expat filmmaker Tina Gharavi exudes empathy for these cultural in-betweeners trying to shape their own identity in rapidly transforming circumstances. Yet for all the intrigue of the subject, the drama is undercooked and lacks bite and intensity. Indeed, the low-key performances from the two leads might reflect a script which needed to be pushed that bit harder. Worthwhile ideas, but lax execution lets it down.