Based on the true story of filmmaker Suha Araj’s mother, Hala emigrates from Palestine to Michigan in 1969 and attends a high school that prohibits girls from wearing pants. With her limited English, Hala, an unintentional rebel, repeatedly disobeys the rule. A revolution brews as the teacher loses control of his classroom to the new girl's influence.
When we first screened Pioneer High we were touched by Araj’s ability to make a strong feminist statement in a sweet, relatable story. Through the lens of the immigrant experience, this short film hits on themes that are more relevant than ever; not the least of which that women can make their own decisions without societal conditioning and fearful control. That we are even having this conversation in 2022 is astonishing. As we once again pick ourselves up to fight for our reproductive rights, we hope this relevant and lush film fills you with a renewed sense of hope, joy, and of course, fiery rebellion.