EventsUA Film Screening & Discussion: Speed Sisters

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UA Film Screening & Discussion: Speed Sisters

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM


Join us for a film screening and discussion of the film Speed Sisters, co-sponsored by the UA Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The film is available in the Library's Kanopy streaming service. You will watch the film using your own Kanopy account (see more information on getting an account below.)

There will be a short contextual presentation preceding the film and a Q & A session at the end.

This event will be on Zoom. The Zoom link will be announced the day before the event. Visit the UA page to get the link on May 4, 2021.

About the film

From the Hollywood Reporter

When one of the profiled figures in a documentary comments, "The smell of tear gas reminds me of my childhood," it's obvious that we're not in Kansas anymore. Rather, Amber Fares' film is set in Palestine, chronicling the Middle East's first all-women race car team. Delivering a lively portrait of its trailblazing subjects while examining the cultural and political complications attendant to their pursuit of becoming the region's "Fastest Women Driver," Speed Sisters is an eye-opening doc that succeeds in its goal of shattering stereotypes.

The team consists of drivers Marah, Mona, Betty and Noor, as well as their manager Maysoon, all of whom reveal sharply distinct personalities. Marah, the reigning champion, is perhaps the best driver of the bunch, with her family enduring great financial sacrifices to support her efforts. The talented but erratic Noor struggles with the problem of memorizing the racing routes that are only announced days in advance. Mona is less interested in winning than in racing for the sheer fun of it. And the blonde, half-Latina Betty is the team's resident sex symbol, a role of which she's all too aware.

The film details the myriad problems the women encounter while racing for the Palestinian Motor Sports and Motorcycle Federation, founded in 2005. Finding places to practice is difficult, with the team forced to train in a parking lot located next to an Israeli detention center. The races are held in such locations as a vegetable market and a helicopter pad, although in recent years they've found a home base in Jericho. Simply getting around is a logistical nightmare, with Israeli military checkpoints omnipresent.

Interweaving the personal stories with rough-hewn footage of the racing competitions, Speed Sisters is an entertaining portrait of its engaging subjects who have become instant role models for young Palestinian women.

Watch the trailer

Presenter: TBA
Director: Amber Fares
Language: Arabic and English (with English subtitles)
Length: 80 minutes

Before the event: Get a library card and Kanopy account

  • If you don't have a Pima County Public Library card, please get one online here.
  • Once you have a library card, you will need to create a Kanopy account at An important thing to know about the Kanopy service is that you are limited to watching 10 films per month, so make sure you don’t watch all 10 before this event!

While online during the event:

A hardwired connection to the internet (i.e. not WiFi) and shutting down all other programs on your device will likely provide the best picture and sound quality. Please turn off your camera and mic for the duration of the event unless called upon. Questions for the Q&A session can be submitted through the chat function AFTER the film screening has ended.

Please do NOT send a chat message to everyone during the film screening or it may pop up on everyone’s screens and interrupt the film. If you’re having technical difficulties, you should send a private chat message to Megan Young. Attendees will be sent to watch the film on Kanopy after a contextual presentation and will be asked to return for the Q&A session. Those who are new to Zoom can refer to the Zoom Help Center for instructions on how to use Zoom.

Privacy for Library customers

If you wish to remain anonymous even through your username during the event, do not use your real name when asked to provide a name when joining the meeting. If you already have a Zoom account, log in to your profile before the event, click edit next to your name, and change your display name.

Suitable for:
Adults (18+)

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