Country: Saudi Arabia
Original Title: Wadjda
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Wadjda (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD)
Saudi Arabian Football Federation is a FIFA affiliated since 1956 but only started playing official tournaments in 1984, when they participated and won the AFC Asian Cup.
As for World Cup, Saudi Arabia had their first appearance in 1994, reaching the Round of 16. After that, in 1998, 2002 and 2006, they stopped at the group stage.
Russia 2018 will be Saudi Arabia’s fifth participation in the FIFA most important tournament. They are the least favorite of Group A to reach the knockout stage, but football can always surprise us.
Wadjda is a pioneer. The first movie directed by a female Saudi director and the first movie shot completely in Saudi Arabia.
Quite recently, Saudi Arabia announced that would allow women to drive take place June 2018 (two months from now). That is one of the many restrictions towards women in the Saudi society.
That is the context in which our story unfolds. Widjda is a Saudi schoolgirl that only desire is to ride a bike with her neighbor, and will use her intelligence and skills to achieve it, even with people saying that bikes are not for girls.
If Leviathan left me desolated, Wadjda left me with a smile on my face. It is a great and entertaining movie.
Waad Mohammed is the protagonist, she was only 11 years old at the time, and was great as the central piece of the story. Abdullrahman Al Gohani who is around the same age, plays Abdullah and do not disappoint.
In a way, the bike is a MacGuffin, and what matters the most is the girl’s journey and growth in an environment where there seems to be no place or voice for women.
It is a simple story, with few characters but a lot of significance and nuances and I hope I can rewatch it soon so I can see more details that we usually overlook.
The only reason preventing it from being perfect to me is that I think that some things could be more explored, things I will not talk about until I do a spoiler review.
I will give it 9 Moons, because I rather give the ratings without decimals, otherwise it would be more like a 9,5.