2015, Movies

Speed Sisters (2015, Amber Fares)

This is an entertaining and captivating documentary about the Palestinian women’s car racing team, who supply their own cars, who race against men (and each other) and who practice in empty parking lots and on local streets.

Racing in Palestine is (I believe) unlike anything else in the world, as the races have to be designed for the circumstances, so it’s all about turning around cones and going the correct direction – without signs to tell you which way that is, so the driver has to memorize the route – on an open paved area. The film captures what is like to be a female race car driver in an Arab-Islamic society, and one that also happens to be occupied by Israel.

There’s a lot going on here, and it’s a testament to the filmmaker – this is her first feature!!! – that she is able to balance everything most of the time.
The film has some pacing issues and doesn’t even get to the race that it initially sets us up for – and I have no idea why – but otherwise, this is a great insight into life in another culture and country, a side of Palestine we never see on the news, and a film that manages to make you feel good about people and where we’re at in the world.

8/10

  • Directed by Amber Fares
    Produced by Amber Fares, Avi Goldstein, Jessica Devaney
  • Starring
    • Marah,
    • Betty,
    • Maysoon, the team manager
    • Noor,
    • Mona,
    • Khaled, Marah’s father
  • Edited by Rabab Haj Yahya
  • Production company: SocDoc Studios
  • Distributed by Dogwoof, First Run Features, Blue Ice Docs
  • Release date: 29 April 2015
  • Running time: 78 minutes
  • Country: Palestine, United States, Qatar, United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada
  • Language: Arabic, English

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