“We’re in paradise”. A perfect safe-conduct before a censorship board, the original title of the debut film by Iranian Sina Ataeian Dena has an irony that immediately comes to light in the opening seconds – or rather bursts onto the black screen of an introduction with chilling dialogues. And then more black. This time of a long chador framing the morose face of beautiful Hanieh, who teaches in a school in a distant suburb of Tehran. Every day, she makes the exhausting dawn trip there, while waiting for her transfer request to be finally processed. Hanieh plays a vital role in training a new generation of young girls but she is at the end of her tether and, despite some discreetly rebellious actions, seems unable to see that her own behaviour is reproducing the very rules that oppress her. With subtlety, Sina Ataeian Dena does not force his rare male characters to overplay the dimension of underlying sexual terror that her female peers have perfectly integrated as the norm. Created as the first part of a trilogy on the theme of violence, this gem of elegance and finesse is much more than just a promising debut.