Country: Saudi Arabia
Language: Arabic w/ English subtitles
Live Action | 2013 | 98 min
Recommended for ages 10+ (Parental Guidance: Pre- or post-viewing explanation may be needed: polygamy, arranged marriages)
Ten-year-old Wadjda challenges deep-rooted Saudi traditions in a determined quest to buy a bicycle. When everything goes against her plans, she sees one last chance in her school’s Koran recitation competition and the large cash prize for first place. The first film ever shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, “Wadjda” is the story of a girl determined to fight for her dreams.
“A sharply observed, deceptively gentle film, reportedly the first feature ever directed by a Saudi woman. The movie presents the facts of its heroine’s life with calm authority and devastating effectiveness. With impressive agility, WADJDA finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling. There is warmth as well as austerity in Wadjda’s world, kindness as well as cruelty, and the possibility, modestly sketched and ardently desired, of change. Buoyant.” -AO Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“The film marks a huge triumph for its female director…a remarkable film twice over.” -Kenneth Turan, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“It’s always fascinating to discover what can make us happy, both as moviegoers and citizens of the world. WADJDA does the trick…funny and touching in equal measure.” -Joe Morgenstern, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL