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Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Iran, Documentary, 2015, 90 mins., in Afhghani and Farsi with English subtitles

Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00am *Director in attendance
Friday, February 26 at 12:30pm

Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave.


Themes & Subjects: Global Studies, Women’s Rights, Music, Activism, Women in the Middle East, Biography, Human Rights, Struggle and Perseverance, Power of the Arts

Synopsis: Winner of two World Cinema Documentary Awards at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival! Sonita is an 18-year-old female who lives in the poor suburbs of Tehran with her older sister where she dreams of becoming a worldwide rap sensation. Despite the obstacles she confronts in Iran, as a poor and undocumented Afghani illegal immigrant, and the pressure from conservative patriarchal family back in Afghanistan, Sonita remains a feisty and spirited young woman. Everyday she fights to live the way she wants, as an artist, singer, and musician. In harsh contrast to her goal is the plan of her family – strongly advanced by her mother – to make her a bride and sell her to a new family for the price of $9,000 USD. In an unconventional moment, the director of the documentary, an Arab woman herself, must make a decision on whether or not to intervene. SONITA was the winner of the Audience Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November 2015.

Resources for teachers:

Screen Daily review.

Youtube review from Fake Plastic Films, a film student residing in Seoul, South Korea (in English).

About the director.

Interview with 10 year-old actress Choi Soo-in.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.