Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Germany, Switzerland, Iran, 2015 / 91 min / English and Farsi OV with English subtitles / Documentary

Sonita, the feminist Afghan rapper fighting against child marriage.

Sonita is an 18-year-old female, an undocumented Afghan illegal immigrant living in the poor suburbs of Tehran. She is a feisty, spirited, young woman who fights to live the way she wants, as an artist, singer, and musician despite the obstacles she has to confront in Iran and her conservative patriarchal family. In harsh contrast to her goal is the plan of her family – strongly advanced by her mother – to make her a bride and sell her to a new family for about US$ 9.000.

Sonita Alizadeh has become a social media sensation, her music and life story having made her a cause celebre of the progressive blogosphere.

Sat 27/02 19:00 Ciné Utopia English and Farsi OV with English subtitles Public
Wed 02/03 18:30 Cinémathèque English and Farsi OV with English subtitles Public

“Intriguing and troubling.” […]. As documentary-makers grow ever-closer to their subjects, Sonita enters the realm of complete co-dependency; this story of a young Afghami refugee’s determination to sing and be free would not have concluded this way without director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s decision to take an active part in proceedings. She has a film, but, personally, a lot more. The tale of Sonita Alizadeh is now Maghami’s responsibility too”. (Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily, 24/10/2015)

„Sonita, the feminist Afghan rapper fighting against child marriage, will give you the chills.” Rachel Krantz,, 15/10/2015

  • IDFA Audience Award, Amsterdam, International Documentary Film Festival, 2015 (Netherlands)
Cast & Credits
Sonita Alizadeh
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Behrouz Badrouj, Ali Mohammad Ghasemi, Mohammad Haddadi, Arastoo Givi, Torben Bernard, Parviz Arefi, Ala Mohseni
Guillaume Wuhrmann
Moritz Denis, songs by Sonita Alizadeh, Sepandarmaz Elahi Shirazi
TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion
Intermezzo Film, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, NDR, RTS RadioTélévision Suisse, SRG SSR, DR, Arte

Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami studied filmmaking and animation at the Tehran Art University. Her research on animated documentary lead to the publication of her book “Animated Documentary, a New Way to Express”. She has made 6 documentaries and won more than 20 international awards. Her graduate film “Cyanosis” (2007), a short animated documentary about a street painter and “Going up the Stairs” (2011), another portrait of an illiterate Iranian woman painter, had a wide international exposure. Her latest “Sonita” (2015) was selected at the Sundance World Documentary Competition.

  • 2015 Sonita (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2011 Going Up The Stairs (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm) (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2010 A Loud Solitude (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2010 Born 20 Minutes Late (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2007 Cyanosis (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm) (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2000 Pigeon Fanciers (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)