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8.4
/10
1,833 Ratings

Wadjda

Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour
Saudi Arabia, Germany, 2012
Drama

Synopsis

Young Wadjda dreams of owning a green bicycle. But she’ll have to forget about racing a boy from the neighborhood: the law prohibits girls from riding bikes. After hearing about the prize money for a school contest in Koran recitation, Wadjda decides to earn the cash to fulfill her dream herself.

Our take

With Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour—whose The Perfect Candidate was released recently—grabbed Hollywood’s attention, and became both the first woman director from Saudi Arabia, and the first filmmaker to shoot a film entirely there. Here is her heartfelt, charming, and sassy tale of female emancipation.

Wadjda Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

2012 | 3 wins including: C.I.C.A.E. Award

Independent Spirit Awards

2014 | Nominee: Best First Feature

International Film Festival Rotterdam

2013 | Winner: Dioraphte Award

What sets Wadjda apart is Al-Mansour’s confidently light touch (this is one of the most outwardly cheery jeremiads ever made), which allows the uneasy existence between the young protagonist and the stringent society in which she lives to gradually gain in force.
September 10, 2013
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The film’s bittersweet denouement is genuinely tender. The closing image of Wadjda at a crossroads gives a sense of freedom and hope.
August 26, 2013
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Wadjda is something of an insouciant filmmaking milestone, not simply in terms of its dissection of female status and discrimination, but the courageousness of writer/director Al- Mansour.
July 18, 2013
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