Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami: freeing a refugee rapper

From Saturday Morning, 10:40 am on 14 May 2016
Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami. Photo: supplied

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami is an Iranian filmmaker who has documented the story of young Afghani refugee Sonita Alizadeh in her feature-length documentary Sonita.

Sonita is a young refugee who was destined to be sold as a bride so that her brother could buy himself a bride.

But she argued for her freedom, and as a rapper made her case in her lyrics too, despite the fact women in Afghanistan aren't allowed to sing in public.

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami heard about Sonita's story through her cousin and decided to document her story.

She also became personally involved in Sonita's struggle.

"I got touched by her ability [for] dreaming because a teenager in her situation – usually they stop dreaming because the reality of their lives is so harsh."

She will present her award-winning feature-length documentary Sonita, about a young female Afghani refugee, at DocEdge, the 11th International Documentary Edge Festival in Wellington (13, 15 May) and Auckland (19, 29 May).