Watching “Daughters of Anatolia,” a film documenting the nomadic lifestyle of goat herders in contemporary Turkey, makes one aware of the value of ethnographic filmography over its drier, academic prose cousin. Describing the migratory path from the Mediterranean Sea to the Taurus Mountains cannot compare with seeing the breath-taking beauty of mountains in bloom as goats scramble over them.
“Sonita” tells the story of a young Afghani girl living in Tehran. From the outset of the film, Sonita is beset with the problems of an immigrant, having no status, insufficient identification and too little money. In the case of this young aspiring rapper, this may also include a dream too big for her world.
In a scene early in the film, the teacher asks Sonita and the other immigrant Afghan girls who attend her class to make imaginary passports, which involves choosing their parents and place of origin. Sonita’s “passport” says her name is “Sonita Jackson,” and when asked by the teacher why she chose that, Sonita replies that she wants her imaginary parents to be Michael Jackson and Rihanna.