DIRECTOR: ROKHSAREH MAGHAMI
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.