New documentary breaks gender stereotypes

20 April 2017 by
First published: 27 January 2017

Speed Sisters, a powerful new documentary breaking gender stereotypes, tells the unique story of five women in the Middle East competing in street-car racing.

With International Women’s Day fast approaching, now is as good a time as any to work to celebrate women across the world who are breaking boundaries and taking charge. Speed Sisters, directed by award-winning Amber Fares and produced by Avi Goldstein and Jessica Devaney, is a documentary following the first and only female car-racing team from the Middle East.

Director Amber Fares originally set off to the Middle East in hope for a better understanding of her Arab heritage, but her trip took an unexpected turn when she met the Speed Sisters. She then spent the next four years getting to know the women and their families, discovering the growing trend of street-car racing in such an unusual setting. Fares’ belief that personal stories are the best way to help connect audiences to important topics and issues is what makes her work extremely real and relevant. The documentary looks at life on and off the track, exploring relationships, family pressures, religion and the team’s passion to break gender stereotypes in a male-dominated sport.

Marah, Betty, Noor, Mona and Maysoon come together to challenge the male car-racers of Palestine in a hope to win the title. In a city held under military occupation, street-car racing has become a way of releasing daily pressures and injecting freedom into the city. These women are going up against all odds, competing and succeeding in this unique sport. But its their determination, grittiness and strength that end up being the driving force of the film (excuse the pun). While each woman has her own background and story that led her to the sport, they all ultimately strive for the same thing.

Living in such a politically broken environment, the women face many obstacles on their journey to success. However, despite their troubles and doubts, they refuse to give up on their dream. Accompanied by an authentic, Middle Eastern soundtrack and taken from genuine experiences, this documentary is full of spirit and brings you right to the heart of Palestine.

See the story of how the Speed Sisters is changing the representation of women in sports in theatres or via iTunes from 10 February.

Watch the trailer here.