Sonita is an 18 year old girl from Afghanistan who has entered Iran undocumented, and tries to get by in the outskirts of Teheran. Her young, energetic, and vivacious spirit helps her fight for her dream of becoming a rap singer, despite her family’s strong opposition. Her passion for music clashes with her mother’s plans of marrying her for money. She’s even put a price on the bride: 9,000 dollars.
Through her songs and low-budget music videos we discover a charismatic artist determined to talk about the harsh reality around her with striking honesty. How can she free herself from her repressive environment and live the life she wants? The success on Youtube of her music video Brides for Sale, a song inspired by her struggle, opens a window of hope to change her destiny. The director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami gets personally involved in Sonita’s future, and her intervention makes us re-think filmmakers’ position in regards to the subjects in their films. A fascinating portrait of a girl at the prime of her creative explosion in contrast with the lack of freedom in the society where she has to live.
Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami was born in Iran and studied filmmaking and animation in Tehran Art University. Her published essays and research include the book, Animated Documentary: A New Way to Express published in Persian in 2009. Her short documentary works include Pigeon Fanciers (2000), A Loud Solitude (2010), Born 20 Minutes Late (2010), Going Up the Stairs (2011), and the animated documentary Cyanosis (2007).
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Sundance (Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award) – USA, 2015
IDFA (DOC U Award) – The Netherlands, 2015
Ambulante Gira de Documentales – México, 2016
True/False – USA, 2016
Hot Docs – Canada, 2016