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Saudi Arabia | 2012 | 100 Minutes | Alfaa Al Mansour

February 10, 2014

The first feature directed by a female Saudi filmmaker, Wadjda is a gentle yet groundbreaking portrait of a free-spirited 10-year-old girl and her quest to raise enough money to buy a bike in a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue.

Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn't be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But her mother won't allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. Wadjda refuses to give in and continues to fight for her dreams by trying to raise the money herself.

"I come from a small town in Saudi Arabia where there are many girls like Wadjda who have big dreams, strong characters and so much potential. These girls can, and will, reshape and redefine our nation. I hope the film offers a unique insight into my own country and speaks of universal themes of hope and perseverance that people of all cultures can relate to." - Haifaa Al Mansour, Director

"A stunningly assured debut, a slyly subversive delight, and one of my favorite movies of the year." - Dana Stevens, Slate

"A charming, liberating look at a society that seems not so distant from our own." - John Hartl, Seattle Times

  • Director: Alfaa Al Mansour
  • Principal Cast: Waad Al-Masanif, Abdullrahman Algohani, Reem Abdullah, Sultan Al Assaf, Ahd Kamel
  • Country: Saudi Arabia
  • Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 100 Minutes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • US Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics