Part of the Spring 2018 Film Series: The Artists
Location: Cesar E. Chavez Building, Room 111 (1110 James E. Rogers Way, Tucson, AZ 85721)
From the Gaurdain
Like many other 18-year-old girls, spirited Sonita Alizadeh wants to be a star and rap about her life. In her dreams, Michael Jackson and Rihanna are her parents and she’s free to pursue her recording career. In reality, as revealed in this wrenching, delicately told documentary, she’s a refugee from Afghanistan living in exile in Tehran, while her family back home is arranging to sell her off in matrimony for $9,000. If she won’t go along with the plan, they will beat her until she does, like the families of so many of her friends at the Tehran centre for refugee girls.
Her mother is willing to give her a six-month stay of execution if someone like the centre or even the film-makers themselves – like so many Iranian films, this one also operates on a meta level – agree to pay $2,000.
What’s especially laudable is that the film never oversells her talent: there are scenes of recording industry professionals coolly assessing her work, and telling her she has a lot to learn. But the kid is a force of nature, and it’s impossible not to be swept along by the powerful tide of her story.
Country of Origin
2015/ 90 min