Sonita

Meet the headstrong teenage Afghan artist whose talent is as big as her dreams.

Young Sonita Alizadeh works as a cleaner at a school for refugees in Tehran, one of many undocumented Afghan immigrants keeping under the radar of Iranian authorities. Except Sonita has no intention of keeping her head down: in a country where women are not allowed to sing solo, she wants to live on her own terms and succeed as a famous rapper, musician and artist.

Soon, Sonita’s mother makes a surprise visit: she is to be sold as bride (price tag: $9,000) to enable the family to buy her brother a wife. Defiant, Sonita pleads with the film’s director to intervene, turning her story – and the documentary – around.

The film, which has deservedly been gathering awards worldwide, movingly captures Sonita’s journey to empowerment and womanhood, as she finds her voice as an artist and a campaigner. Moved by her story, female director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami filmed a poignant documentary, Sonita, which is screening in cinemas across the UK from Friday 21 October.