This month The Little Theatre in Rochester is celebrating Women's History Month with a collection of documentary and narrative films about trailblazing women.
Special speakers, including local educators and women's right advocates, will lead audience discussion after most of the films.
The series is sponsored by a New York Council on the Humanities New York Action Grant, and co-presented by The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Rochester.
The screenings begin this Sunday at 3pm with Sonita. Here is a short description from The Little:
If 18-year old Sonita had a say in things, Michael Jackson would be her father and Rihanna her mother. She captures her dream of being a famous rapper in her scrapbook. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. There, Sonita, a refugee from Afghanistan, gets counseling for the traumas she has suffered and guidance in shaping her future. Her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000. What's more, women aren't allowed to sing in Iran. How can Sonita still succeed in making her dreams come true?
Director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami ends up personally involved in answering that question, reigniting the discussion as to how documentary makers should relate to their subjects. This is just one of the many unexpected twists in an exciting journey replete with the setbacks and successes of a young women looking for her own path. The film's core consists of Sonita artistically arguing against the disastrous forced marriage practices that obstruct her freedom in an impressive, dramatic rap video.
This screening is presented with community partner Girls Rock!
Girls Rock! Rochester is a 501c(3) nonprofit camp dedicated to using music creation and performance as tools for cultivating self confidence in girls and trans youth. The film will be introduced by members of Girls Rock! Rochester and a performance will follow the screening.
You can find out more about this film, and the others in the series, on The Little's website.
If you'd like more information, please contact Ilka Datig at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a member of the organizing committee and will be leading one of the panel discussions.