Iran, 2015, 93 mins
Winner of both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize in this year’s Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition, Sonita follows young Afghan refugee and aspiring rapper Sonita Alizadeh, a strong-willed 18-year-old whose idols include Rihanna and Michael Jackson. But there’s a big problem with her ambitions: Women aren’t allowed to sing publically in Iran, and her conservative Afghan family bristles at the thought of their daughter’s blasphemy. Can Sonita escape her traumatic past, a forced wedding, and realize her dreams? Not just a stirring chronicle of struggle and liberation, Sonita becomes an intimate, provocative and “deeply affecting” (Screen Daily) look at the close relationship between subject and filmmaker, as female director Rokhsareh Maghami finds herself increasingly drawn into Sonita’s fate.
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami studied filmmaking and animation in Tehran Art University. Her researches on animated documentary resulted to writing a book, named: “Animated Documentary, a New Way to Express”. She has made 6 documentaries and won more than 20 international awards. Cyanosis (2007) and Going up the Stairs (2011) have a wide international exposure.