Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a 10-year-old tomboy growing up in the Saudi capital. She enjoys pop music, wears Converse and dreams of owning a bicycle.
The rules of conduct forbid her to ride one but Wadjda is undeterred, and when her school announces a cash prize for a religious competition, she sets her mind to winning.
Wadjda ‘s mother worries about her daughter’s reputation and her teachers fear the worst. However, Wadjda strives for freedom of expression and she learns how to push, gently, against the boundaries.
Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, (who sometimes directed from inside a van) commands beautiful performances from her mainly female cast; 12-year-old Waad Mohammed is sweet and spunky and easily carries the film, and Saudi TV star Reem Abdullah is divine as her lovelorn mother. (RF)