Film, Drama
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‘Wadjda’ is the first feature film to be filmed in Saudi Arabia by a woman, and one of few films to emerge from the country at all. Such milestones can be millstones, but director Haifaa Al-Mansour makes forceful points about her country’s gender politics within a story that’s light and unassuming. In fact, her film is so accessible it could play to audiences the same age as its heroine, Wadjda (Waad Mohammed), a ten-year-old girl in a world dominated by men, who wonders if life could be different. She wants money to buy a bicycle, in defiance of tradition, and enters a Qur’an contest at school with a cash prize. Al-Mansour’s tale is simple and hardly groundbreaking, but she tells it with grace, warmth and clarity. Perhaps the most radical thing about her film is that she reveals the dominance of men and conservatism in Saudi society while putting women, girls and hope front and centre.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Release date: Wednesday February 6 2013
Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Haifaa Al Mansour
Screenwriter: Haifaa Al Mansour
Cast: Reem Abdullah
Waad Mohammed
Abdullrahman Al Gohani
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