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Past Films

Wadjda

  • Starring: Waad Mohammed
  • Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Language: Arabic (w/ subtitles)
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 98 min.

An enterprising Saudi girl signs up for her school’s Koran recitation competition in hopes of raising the remaining funds she needs to buy a green bicycle she desperately wants.

"A simple, solid, deeply affecting film, Wadjda is something rare: the work of a female Saudi filmmaker, Haifaa Al Mansour, and a feature from a country that has long outlawed cinemas."
- Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"Not only is this a deftly crafted and superbly acted film, but Wadjda sheds a powerful light on what women face, starting in childhood, in an oppressive regime."
- Claudia Puig, USA Today
"It’s a stunningly assured debut, a slyly subversive delight, and one of my favorite movies of the year so far."
- Dana Stevens, Slate
"An unqualified delight, a sharp, insightful comedy that subversively explores women's place in Islamic society."
- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"As simple and charming as you could wish for, this is a genuinely pioneering debut from a female Saudi filmmaker and a striking piece of work by any standards."
- David Parkinson, Empire
"A simple, solid, deeply affecting film."
- Alan Scherstuh, Village Voice
"This resonant film, detailing struggles in a far-flung place, represents world cinema in the classic sense."
- Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News
"With impressive agility, Wadjda finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling."
- A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"Wadjda offers an interesting contrast to films made in Iran. Where the latter country has a long cinematic tradition, Mansour's is the first feature shot entirely in Saudi Arabia."
- Mark Jenkins, NPR
"An Arabic-German coproduction, it is a rare movie shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, which has no cinema industry to speak of, and the first feature by a female filmmaker from that country. Forbidden from mixing with the men in her crew, Al-Mansour often directed via walkie-talkie from the back of a van."
- Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Showtimes