Previously at the ICA - Films
19 Jul 2013 – 24 Aug 2013
Much of the initial buzz about Wadjda arose from its status as the first film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, a country that has no cinemas. But it’s also the winning tale of a girl’s determination not to be cowed by male-dominated society or religious doctrine.
The eponymous Wadjda (a sparky Mohammed) lives with her mother (Abdullah) in a bland, dusty Riyadh suburb. The playful and resourceful girl manages to accrue enough money to buy a bicycle – considered not only unbecoming, but also a danger to her fertility – so as to compete with her cheeky little friend Abdullah. Confrontations with her stern, hypocritical headmistress (Ahd) and her loving but conflicted mother add some twists to the deceptively simple plot, making Al-Mansour’s film a total delight.
Wadjda, dir. Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia/Germany 2012, 97 mins, cert. PG, Arabic with English subtitles