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Documentary

Sonita

Year 2015
Runtime 90 mins
Language English, Farsi
Subtitles English

Selected as a Top 10 Audience Favourite of the Festival 

Sonita is a poor, undocumented 18-year-old girl living illegally in the slums of Tehran. Armed against an oppressive culture with nothing but an indomitable attitude, she turns to music and art to keep her sense of hope going. This is made difficult by the fact that her conservative family, especially her mother, want to sell her off for $9,000 to become a bride. Torn between allegiance to her family and an insatiable desire to escape the life that's been chosen without her consultation, Sonita throws all her emotion and frustration into the songs she creates and works hard to get them heard.

Filmed in Tehran, SONITA puts a real name and face on the familiar story of feminine oppression and dehumanization. Winner of several documentary awards and an Official Selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, SONITA is an important look at how hard many people have to fight just to enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.

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PARENT PREVIEWS' REVIEW

Parent's Guide: This subtitled film shows the realities of female oppression and the practice of young girls being sold into marriage to men that are strangers and/or much older than the brides. Discussions occur about families threatening and beating their non-compliant daughters (a girl with a bruised face is shown) and dowries/bride prices are compared and negotiated. A music video depicts a teen girl with facial injuries. Taliban violence, the war in Afghanistan, and armed security guards are mentioned and shown. A woman uses a hookah pipe. Rap music is used to raise awareness of this cultural tradition.

Content Information for SONITA
Violence: B-
Sexual Content: B
Language: A-
Alcohol / Drug Use: B
Description of the grades

About Parent Previews
This year, CIFF is working with the film review site Parent Previews to review a select number of movies from a family perspective. The main goal of these reviews is to give parents an idea of what they will encounter when they take their kids to the movies. Armed with information about a film's content, parents can then choose movies that are most suitable for their child's interests and sensitivities, as well as one that is in keeping with their family's standards.

Director
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Executive Producer
Gerd Haag
Producer
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, Aline Schmid, Kerstin Krieg
Cinematographer
Behrouz Badrouj, Ali Mohammad Ghasemi, Arastoo Givi, Mohammad Haddadi, Torben Bernard, Parviz Arefi, Ala Mohseni
Editor
Rune Schweitzer
Music
Moritz Denis, Sonita Alizadeh, Sepandarmaz Elahi Shirazi
Cast
Sonita Alidazeh