Haiffa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda opens in the United States this week

15 Sep

Wadjda is the first feature from award-winning director Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first woman from Saudi Arabia to direct a feature-length film.  It follows the story of a Saudi girl who enters her school’s Koran-reciting competition because she wants to use the prize money to buy herself a bicycle.  However, this is a country where bicycle riding is frowned upon for girls.  Since premiering last year at the Venice Film Festival, Wadjda has been winning awards at film festivals all over the world, including the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival.  Although Wadjda is the first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, it won’t be playing there any time soon.  Movie theaters are banned in the country.

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