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She is the first Iranian woman who ever qualified for the Olympic Games.

The qualification is not only a big success for the young Taekwondo fighter Sara Khoshjamal-Fekri and her coach Maryam Azarmehr. It means a big step for all women in the Islamic Republic of Iran who want equal rights and more freedom in their country. In a male-dominated society based on a rigid interpretation of Islamic laws, a professional female athlete like Sara constantly stretches the limits.

Sara Khoshjamal-Fekri is a professional athlete living in Teheran. According to TIME Magazine the 20-year-old is among the 100 most interesting athletes of the 2008 Olympic Games. KICK IN IRAN follows her arduous journey to Beijing. Together with her coach Maryam Azarmehr she develops her talent – inmidst a society showing mixed feelings for female athletes.

Maryam Azarmehr dedicated her whole life to Taekwondo. Everything revolves around the women´s sports center. Her devotion to Martial Arts makes her somewhat of an outsider. But she sticks to the rules. Now her hopes lie on Sara, who in turn admires and fears her friend and master. Because even her qualification is no warranty that Sara will participate in the Games.

The focus of KICK IN IRAN is on this unlikely, quiet young woman with her seemingly unshakeable self-confidence, who is eager to „go for gold“. Sara is determined to make her way, in spite of the pressure of an Iranian public, which expects women of her age to find a suitable husband – and not to make a career in sports. For some she is a sinner who prostitutes herself in international competitions, for others she is a national hero increasing Iran´s glory in the world. Every day they navigate through this conflict zone of contradictory social values. It is paradoxical, while their liberties increase constantly, it might happen that they are denied access to the training hall they need. This persistent struggle for individual freedom and self-determination adds the social dimension to Sara´s quest, since her steps will pave the way for all to come.

KICK IN IRAN offers an unhurried look at contemporary life in urban Iran. It is a portrait of a talented Muslim athlete, a young woman coming of age, a deep female friendship and the big dream of Olympic gold.

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January 1st, 2010 at 7:06 pm

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