Sonita : : Film Review


Initial impressions of Sonita’s chances of being a successful rapper are pretty grim. Living in a dismal flat in Tehran with an older sister who seems to have given up hope, they plead for an extra day’s  grace in paying the rent. Afghan refugees without papers, they are dependent on the kindness (and exploitation) of strangers to get by.


Most of the people around Sonita though – her teachers, her boss (she is a cleaner as well as student at the children’s refuge), her chirpy niece – are sympathetic and supportive. Her teacher is dry too, noting that if she had Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her parents, she would have a US passport and be able to go anywhere – but not Iran.


Other girls have it harder it seems, one is used by her brother as a punching bag, another, barely in her teens, whispers her dread at being sold as a bride. Sonita retells her story in verse, and the younger girl starts to cry. ‘That’s just what I want to tell my father,’ she says.


And this is how Sonita turns out actually to be rather special. At the shelter they are led through Boal-inspired drama workshops, asking them to imagine the world they want to live in. At home, Sonita creates a scrap book of how she wants things to be in her future, as a musician, with crowds excited to see her, a flashy house. The music industry is difficult to break into wherever you are – and the lukewarm responses of recording studio gatekeepers are as crushing as anywhere – but an insurmountable problem in Iran and Afghanistan is that girls, by law, are not allowed to sing. But there is an even greater obstacle.


The aftermath of a fight with her brother has left her books and posters torn and strewn on her bed. The reason, in a dark echo to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew: he wants to get married and he needs the money from her bride price to get a bride of his own. She turns to her mother who is not sympathetic. She too was forced to marry pre-teen to a man so old she called him uncle, and went on to bear him eight children. ‘Happy or not, it is the tradition’. If Sonita won’t go with her back to Afghanistan, then her brother will be sent to force her back.


And then things get really interesting, as all those watching on the sidelines, from the man carrying the boom, to random students hanging about, start to question whether her fate is sealed and what they can do... And as they talk, Sonita disappears, which causes an even greater problem to the filmmaker than the code of not getting involved; there won’t be a documentary at all if your subject is not there to film. And by then, they all have skin in the game.


Of course a documentary maker shouldn’t go out trying to make stories, but Sonita more than meets the director halfway in her bullishness and determination to succeed and you find yourself rooting for her and the filmmakers as they try and find a way for the girl to fulfil her dreams. And it is this breaking of the rules which makes this a great story. Sonita could have been beaten into silence. Instead of watching her being tamed like her schoolfellows, it is much more interesting and inspiring to see this girl roar. Terrific.


Tickets can be purchased here.




  1. minecraft 14 April, 2019 at 01:22 Reply

    Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  2. 16 April, 2019 at 19:23 Reply

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off
    the screen in Chrome. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or
    something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.

    The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem
    solved soon. Thanks

  3. minecraft 21 April, 2019 at 16:09 Reply

    I will right away seize your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me recognise in order that I may just subscribe.


  4. see pron 23 April, 2019 at 00:48 Reply

    Hrbpvn You acquired a really useful blog page I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your good results is extremely much an inspiration for me.

  5. hermes online 7 May, 2019 at 07:03 Reply

    I and also my buddies were actually checking out the best helpful hints from your website while all of the sudden I got a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. All of the young boys are already very interested to read them and already have truly been taking advantage of those things. Appreciate your truly being considerably helpful and for deciding upon this kind of incredible themes millions of individuals are really wanting to know about. Our sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.

  6. air yeezy 11 May, 2019 at 04:21 Reply

    I actually wanted to post a brief message to be able to express gratitude to you for some of the wonderful tips and hints you are placing on this site. My considerable internet research has at the end of the day been compensated with reasonable content to write about with my family members. I would mention that most of us website visitors actually are extremely fortunate to exist in a fine place with very many outstanding people with valuable techniques. I feel really privileged to have used your entire site and look forward to tons of more amazing minutes reading here. Thank you again for everything.

  7. g 12 May, 2019 at 13:59 Reply

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  8. g 14 May, 2019 at 01:35 Reply

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally
    right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine
    simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  9. supreme hoodie 15 May, 2019 at 10:37 Reply

    I definitely wanted to send a message so as to thank you for some of the great tactics you are placing at this site. My time intensive internet research has finally been rewarded with useful suggestions to write about with my close friends. I ‘d mention that most of us website visitors actually are really endowed to live in a decent community with so many perfect individuals with good pointers. I feel really fortunate to have come across the website page and look forward to really more amazing minutes reading here. Thanks again for everything.

  10. yeezy boost 18 May, 2019 at 20:20 Reply

    I must point out my gratitude for your generosity supporting all those that really need assistance with this important concept. Your real dedication to getting the solution along has been definitely useful and has specifically encouraged women like me to realize their objectives. Your entire warm and friendly publication can mean much to me and somewhat more to my office workers. Regards; from each one of us.

  11. bape hoodie 20 May, 2019 at 02:14 Reply

    I definitely wanted to make a brief word to be able to appreciate you for those stunning tips and tricks you are sharing on this site. My long internet research has at the end been honored with reputable knowledge to exchange with my family. I would repeat that we website visitors actually are really blessed to exist in a really good place with very many brilliant people with useful tips and hints. I feel extremely lucky to have come across your webpage and look forward to many more fabulous minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.

Leave a reply