Milwaukee Film Festival 2016: Speed Sisters
By Devvon Eubanks
Who says that boys have all the fun? For an all-female, Palestinian race car driving team, the “Speed Sisters” are as daring as the most intrepid man. The film focuses on four female drivers: Mona Ali, Marah Zahalka, Noor Dauod, Betty Saadeh, and their team manager Maysoon Jayyusi, as they face a season of races together as a group and as a family, determined to show who the best female racer in the Middle East is. With the grinding of engines, hairpin turns, drifts through fogs of red dust, and the rush of racing against the clock, director Amber Fares displays a team of daredevils that are fearless, focused, and firm in their love for the sport and their craft. And not only does the film focus on their rapport and collaboration as a group, but Fares also details the lives of these ladies individually. The documentary shows their years as adolescents, trading Barbie dolls and beads for stick shifts and V6 engines, stealing their parents’ cars to go on an evening drive, and hanging around garages and car shops learning about the inner workings of automobiles. However, there is also a turbulent world surrounding these racing events, as conflicts due to the occupation of Israeli troops in the country affect how these women operate as a team. The viewer sees the fervor of passion, willpower, and the hope for a better life in the middle of a conflicted world led by oppression, internal strife, and harsh rules imposed by ruling committees regarding these ladies. In general, it is an amazing story on how the love of competition can overcome the greatest obstacles of life, no matter a person’s background or gender. With gripping visuals and sounds, emotional scenes of joy and discord, and a positive display of the power of teamwork, “Speed Sisters” makes a victorious run across the finish line.