Director: Haifaa Al Mansour
Starring: Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed, Abdullrahman Al Gohani
Saudi Arabia/ Germany, 2012, 1 hour 37 minutes, subtitles
Lit up by an utterly disarming central performance, this is a hugely appealing, heartfelt gem that will give you a rare glimpse into everyday Saudi society. Smart, strong-willed, tomboy Wadjda is often in trouble as she chafes at her life’s restrictions, but she’ll stop at nothing to earn the money to buy a bike. To shoot a film in a country where cinemas themselves have been banned for over thirty years is some kind achievement for any director. When that filmmaker also happens to be a woman, in a country where it is illegal for women to drive, let alone direct, it’s all the more impressive.
Part of Wales One World film festival.