Thursday 11 December: Wadjda (PG)

Saudi Arabia  –  Comedy/Drama  –  Year: 2012  –  Running time: 98 mins

Audience feedback: Rating: ★★★★½ (4.65 / 5 from 23 votes)


  • ‘Excellent’: 17 votes
  • ‘Very Good’: 5 votes
  • ‘Good’: 0 votes
  • ‘Satisfactory’: 1 vote
  • ‘Poor’: 0 vote

The first feature to be filmed in Saudi Arabia by a woman, Al-Mansour makes forceful points about her country’s gender politics within a story that’s simple and unassuming. Wadjda, a ten-year-old girl in a world dominated by men, wonders if life could be different. Causing great anxiety for her poor mother, she wants money to buy a bicycle, in defiance of tradition, and so enters a Qur’an reading contest at school with a cash prize. A funny, romantic, simple and accessible tale, told with grace, warmth and clarity, but with an implicit, cutting political edge.

Filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour uses the simple story as our entry into a complex culture and a pointed perspective on how women are treated in Saudi society …
Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies online

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Women Without Shadows (2005)

Read about this film in IMDB

Film notes (Eric Colvin)
Audience feedback
Discussion forum

Further reading:
Sight and Sound (Hannah McGill)
The London Film Review (Paul Risker)

Theatrical trailer:

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