Sonita ★★★½

A documentary about an aspiring rapper from Afghanistan looking to escape an arranged marriage. I was expecting this to follow the Act of Killing model of enmeshing the protagonist's art with verite footage, and there is a bit of that, but the latter definitely dominates. Fair enough - Sonita is a very charismatic, compelling subject, and her situation is gripping and emotive. The footage of children talking about the thirtysomething men they're pledged to is truly upsetting.

I'd have to see the whole thing before deciding how well director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami balances the different elements of her story; I watched an hour-long cut-down prepared for BBC Four's Storyville strand instead. But you couldn't accuse her of not having enough of a stake in the story, and it reminds us that a humane immigration policy is not a surrender to Islamist totalitarianism - removing young people from a theocratic environment is, instead, the surest weapon against it.

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