Directed & Produced by Amber Fares
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.
Director & Producer
Amber Fares is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer. Her feature length directorial debut Speed Sisters, premiered at Hot Docs in 2015, where it was one of the top 20 Audience Choice Awards, and won the Audience Award at the Irish Film Institute Festival. Speed Sisters is currently playing in film festivals around the world. Amber’s continually expanding storytelling approach is driven by the belief that personal stories can best help connect audiences to important topics and issues and has worked with organizations like UNRWA, Defence for Children International and Amnesty International. Amber co-founded SocDoc Studios to produce story-driven films that explore social issues. Amber is Canadian and is based in New York.