Parents' Guide to

Speed Sisters

By Frannie Ucciferri, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Spirited docu follows Middle Eastern female racing team.

Movie NR 2017 78 minutes
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Director Amber Fares' spirited documentary is about both a vibrant, diverse group of women with a passion for racing and the stark realities of Palestinian life on the West Bank. The five women all seem to channel their struggles -- the instability of occupation, the disappointment of conservative relatives, the pressure to start families, the ongoing political turmoil over the West Bank, balancing modern life with traditional Islam -- into street racing. Interestingly, they don't appear to face much pushback from male racers, who (at least according to the film) seemed to accept them fairly quickly as legitimate competitors. But they do face some opposition from the men in charge of the racing federation, as well as from online haters. Still, they take it all in stride, not allowing anything to hold them back.

That said, it can be hard to tell whether the tension between Marah and Betty is being played up for cinematic drama -- or played down to focus on team unity. Also, for a documentary about women who love speed, the film can get a bit slow at times. There are plenty of long, quiet moments in Speed Sisters that are meant to show what life is like for the women when they're not racing -- for example waiting in endless lines of cars at military checkpoints. The combination of the pacing and the subtitles might be too slow for younger viewers, but the intense racing scenes and great female role models more than make up for it. It's easy to root for these women and their relentless passion.

Movie Details

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