Meet Sepideh Hooshyar, a provincial Iranian teenage girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. As a young woman in a conservative Muslim culture that disapproves of such pursuits, Sepideh spends her days studying astronomy and her nights watching the stars. This documentary chronicles her quest to dream big.
Sepideh lives in Sa'adat Shahr, a town in the province of Fars. She made a promise to her father, who tragically died a few years ago, that she would pursue her dream at whatever cost. However, her family is poor and her pursuit of astronomy, instead of working the family farm, is blamed in part for their financial misfortunes. So, she spends her days at the local observatory, "still just half-built after 20 years," and her nights stargazing.
With pressure mounting on her to give up her dreams, Sepideh decides to reach out to her idol, Anousheh Ansari, the world's first female space tourist, to ask for help.
The documentary is currently in competition at Sundance and Variety reports Danish director, Berit Madsen, spent years with Sepideh while filming his first documentary feature. The film is beautifully-filmed due in part to Babak Tefreshi's nighttime and time-lapse photography. I highly encourage everyone to watch this film. It's so inspiring and awesome watching this badass Iranian girl fight for her dreams.
The documentary is currently available to watch on iTunes.