Despite restrictions on movement, the Palestinian Motor Sports and Motorcycle Federation has for over five years erected makeshift tracks in major cities across the West Bank….
Cars can be seen racing against the clock on winding time trial courses on Arafat’s former helicopter
pad in Bethlehem, in vegetable stalls of Jenin, on a tarmac in the 10,000 year old city of Jericho, and by a transit point and prison at the edges of Ramallah.
The races provide a release from the pressures of everyday life. The spirited competition between cities brings spectators out in the thousands, lining rooftops and leaning over barricades to photograph the best shots of the day and to see final times on the digital scoreboard.
Brought together by a common desire to live life on their own terms, five determined women have joined the dozens of male drivers — competing against each other for the title of fastest woman, for bragging rights for their home city, and to prove that women can compete head on with men in Palestine and beyond.
Together they have been acclaimed as the first all-women motor racing team in the Middle East: the “Speed Sisters.”
The Speed Sisters are doing something very simple and yet very brave. They are resisting a reality that diminishes their dreams, that tells them their future is small, predictable.
The track is a small challenge compared to navigating the complicated maps of daily life in a nascent state struggling with conflict and occupation, with development and politics, and with the tension, common around the world, between social expectations and personal choice for young women—in family, career, and love.
Racing, then, is far more than a thrill for the Speed Sisters. Taking the wheel represents an insistence on the right to mobility, a taste of hope and independence, and the stubborn belief that a larger and wider future is possible in their lives as women and as Palestinians.
The film will have its international premiere at Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival in 2015.
“A spirited, crowd-pleasing portrait.” – Indiewire
“An eye-opening doc that succeeds in its goal of shattering stereotypes.” – The Hollywood Reporter