The Speed Sisters are the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They're bold. They're fearless. And they're tearing up tracks all over Palestine.

COMPLETED 

Filmmakers: Amber Fares
Year: 2015
Runtime: 80 mins
Country: USA/Palestine
Format: HD




FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Hot Docs 2015 

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015

Melbourne IFF 2015

Reykjavik IFF 2015

Rio Film Festival 2015

Oaxaca Film Festival 2015

Adelaide Film Festival 2015

Middle East Film Festival 2015

CPH:DOX 2015

 

  

 

 

 

STORY 

Despite a tangle of roadblocks and checkpoints, a thriving street car racing scene has emerged
in the West Bank. Held at improvised tracks – a vegetable market, an old helicopter pad, a
security academy – the races offer a release from the pressures and uncertainties of life under
military occupation. The fanfare and rivalry between cities brings spectators out in droves, lining
rooftops and leaning over barricades to snap photos of their favorite drivers and to catch final
times on the scoreboard.

Brought together by a common desire to live life on their own terms, five determined women –
Marah, Betty, Noor, Mona and Maysoon – have joined the ranks of dozens of male drivers,
competing against each other for the title, for bragging rights for their hometown, and to prove
that women can go head to head with the guys.

The new racing season opens with 19-year old reigning champion Marah determined to defend
her title. Representing one of the most socially conservative and economically depressed cities
in Palestine, Marah’s determination to make her hometown proud pushes her to be her best on
the track. Betty, her biggest competitor, comes from a wealthy, influential family of racers.
Marah and Betty find themselves neck in neck when Betty’s luck turns and a questionable
decision by the officials places her on top. Betty is swept up in a flurry of media attention while
Marah must decide whether to quit in protest or follow her drive to win. Her family has already
sacrificed so much; will Marah find the resolve to navigate the obstacles in her way and make a
comeback?

The friendships between Maysoon, the team manager; Mona, the pioneering free-spirit; and
Noor, the thrill-seeker struggling to find her way, bring a tenderness and texture to life off the
track as each of the women navigate love, religion and family pressures while trying to be true to
themselves in the face of a military occupation. With a character-driven narrative, tirescreeching
racing scenes and a dynamic Middle Eastern indie music soundtrack, SPEED
SISTERS is offers a surprising look into what it takes to go further and faster than anyone
thought you could.


PRESS

'Engaging doc delivers a startling spin on Palestinian gender roles' - The Hollywood Reporter

'Inspiring documentary all women should watch' - Glamour


FILMMAKER

In the aftermath of 9/11, Canadian filmmaker Amber Fares left her career in marketing to deepen her understanding of life in the Middle East. In response to her experience, Amber co-founded SocDoc Studios to produce story-driven films that explore social issues. Her directorial debut short, Ghetto Town (2009) has been shown at film festivals round the world. Speed Sisters is her first feature length
documentary.


CREDITS

Director: Amber Fares

Producers: Amber Fares, Avi Goldstein and Jessica Devaney

Co-Producers: Stephanie Economu, Ben and Rob Edwards, Talal Jabari, Anne O’Shea and Brian Quattrini

Editor: Rabab Haj Yahya

Directors of Photography: Amber Fares and Lucy Martens